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Daily Newsletter, Wednesday, 12/10/2003

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PremierInvestor.net Newsletter                Wednesday 12-10-2003
                                                    section 1 of 2
Copyright (c) 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:      Stocks Slip Slowly

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)

=================================================================
MARKET WRAP  (view in courier font for table alignment)
=================================================================
     12-10-2003            High     Low     Volume Advance/Decline
DJIA     9921.86 -  1.56  9958.38  9882.38 1.73 bln   1048/1813
NASDAQ   1904.65 -  3.67  1916.00  1887.46 1.92 bln   1034/2036
S&P 100   525.33 +  1.18   526.62   522.34   Totals   2082/3849
S&P 500  1059.59 -  1.13  1063.02  1053.41
RUS 2000  528.49 -  6.05   535.58   526.42
DJ TRANS 2912.67 -  8.25  2933.09  2893.87
VIX        17.87 +  0.24    18.27    17.58
VXO        17.33 +  0.25    19.71    17.13
VXN        27.84 -  0.48    28.66    27.79
Total Volume 4,114M
Total UpVol  1,663M
Total DnVol  2,413M
52wk Highs     307
52wk Lows       38
TRIN          1.09
PUT/CALL      0.81
=================================================================

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


Stocks Slip Slowly
by James Brown

Given the pace of Tuesday afternoon's decline plenty of traders 
thought today was going to be a tough one for the market.  Yet by 
the close of business the major U.S. indices were relatively 
unchanged.  There were plenty of stories to follow like AutoZone 
cratering and SBC slashing jobs but overall the session was 
characterized by widespread but mild profit taking.  If you're 
feeling truly optimistic one could even call it a small victory 
for the bulls by the lack of heavy selling.  Granted there were 
pockets of weakness.  Gold stocks and homebuilders were hit hard 
but then these sectors had made some of the biggest gains this 
year and investors were taking some money off the table.

Global markets were generally weaker lead by strong declines in 
the Japanese NIKKEI index.  The constant weakness in the dollar 
continues to put pressure on Japanese exporters and despite 
intervention by the Bank of Japan to sell yen to weaken their own 
currency the NIKKEI dropped 213 points or 2.11% to close at 9910.  
It has been a tough few days for the Japan's markets.  The NIKKEI 
has lost more than 500 points since last Thursday and investors 
are nervous about this Friday's Tankan survey for the Japanese 
economy.  European markets are also suffering from some profit 
taking and the FTSE lost 44 points to close at 4335 while the DAX 
lost 25 points to close at 3820.  Meanwhile the greenback 
actually strengthened somewhat against the yen and the euro.

The U.S. dollar wasn't the only thing on traders' minds.  There 
was a sharp surge in energy prices early in the session.  Crude 
oil shot to $32.63 a barrel, a three-week high, before slipping 
back to $31.88.  Natural gas spiked to $7.55 intraday before 
closing down 1.1 cents at $6.711/BTU.  Investors also noticed 
some volatility in gold.  February gold futures hit an intraday 
high near $413 an ounce but ended the day with a $1.90 loss at 
$407.  This sent the XAU gold & silver index to a 4.44% decline.  
It was just a few weeks ago when gold was trading near $380 that 
there was renewed talk of seeing $420 an ounce before December 
31st. That target doesn't seem so far away now but gold may 
retest the $400 level again before bouncing.   

Market internals were a lot more bearish than the final tally in 
the indices may suggest.  Declining stocks overwhelmed advancing 
stocks 18 to 10 on the NYSE and 2 to 1 on the NASDAQ.  Down 
volume flooded past up volume 2179 million to 1443 million 
between the two exchanges.  The volatility indices (VXO, VIX, 
VXN) did inch higher showing some small amount of investor fear 
but they remain stuck in their downtrends.  Technology stocks may 
have been spared a worse fate by strength in the SOX, today's 
best performing sector.  Of course the SOX was down 10% in the 
last six sessions so today's move could just be an oversold 
bounce. 

Chart of the DJIA:



Chart of the NASDAQ:



There were plenty of company or stock-specific stories today but 
probably the biggest one was the selling in the homebuilders.  
The DJUSHB home construction index dropped more than 5% as 
investors took profits from one of the best performing sectors 
all year.  This sector has more than doubled from its March 2003 
lows and the threat of higher interest rates (per the Fed's new 
neutral stance) and a drop in the U.S. mortgage application index 
had traders running to sell these winners and lock in gains.  
This morning's report from the Mortgage Bankers Association 
showed that mortgage applications had dropped 12.2% to a new 52-
week low.  Part of this drop is due to a decline in refinancings, 
which do not affect the homebuilders but it was a perfect excuse 
to sell.  

While we're on the subject of declines shares of AutoZone (AZO) 
were hammered for a 12 percent loss ($11) for the biggest drop in 
the S&P 500.  The company had reported earnings yesterday evening 
that beat estimates by 7 cents with net income of $1.35 per 
share.  Unfortunately, revenues only rose 5.2% to $1.28 billion, 
which missed the average estimate of $1.3 billion.  As would be 
expected the news produced a number of broker downgrades.  

On the positive side shares of SBC Communications added 2.67% to 
lead the Dow's gainers after announcing 3,000 to 4,000 job cuts 
in the fourth quarter.  The 2.5 percent reduction in its 
workforce is an effort by SBC to offset the company's declining 
revenues.  Rival Verizon (VZ) also rallied strongly after 
announcing a $3.7 billion buyout for nearly 10 percent of its 
workforce.  Short-term the charge will affect earnings but 
analysts believe it will strengthen the company's balance sheet 
longer-term.  


Traders also bid up shares of Cisco Systems after its CEO John 
Chambers mentioned that they are seeing rising corporate budgets 
for the first time in years.  While Chambers was optimistic for 
2004 he didn't offer any specific numbers that might indicate 
tech spending would outpace the recent Gartner-Soundview survey, 
which forecasted a dismal 1.6% growth for 2004.

Tomorrow is another busy session.  Investors will be eager to 
hear the November retail sales report.  Estimates are for a 0.7 
percent increase leapfrogging the 0.3 percent decline in October.  
Wall Street will also absorb the November import and export 
numbers, the October business inventories and the weekly jobless 
claims.  Expectations are for a drop in jobless claims to 359,000 
down from 365,000.




=================
  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
---------------------------------

SBC     SBC Communications Inc     24.61    +0.64
CHA     China Telecom              35.26    +1.31
WLP     Wellpoint Health Network   93.50    +0.51
RCL     Royal Caribbean Cruises    31.70    +0.59


---------------------------------------
Breakout to Upside (Stocks $5 to $20)
---------------------------------------

PLAB    Photronics Inc             18.30    +1.52


---------------------------------------
Breakout to Upside (Stocks over $20)
---------------------------------------

FRX     Forest Laboratories Inc    57.60    +1.71
GWW     W.W. Grainger Inc          48.95    +1.51


-------------------------------------------
Breakout to Downside (Stocks over $20)
-------------------------------------------

WM      Washington Mutual Inc      38.57    -1.40
NEM     Newmont Mining Corp        45.70    -2.07
GDW     Golden West Financial      96.57    -2.56
AVP     Avon Products Inc          61.61    -1.84
S       Sears Roebuck & Co         46.00    -1.65

-----------------------------------------
Recently Overbought With Bearish Signals (Stocks over $20)
-------------------------------------------

ABN     ABN Amro Holdings          22.08    -0.33
KYO     Kyocera Corp               60.70    -2.00
UB      Unionbancal Corporation    56.98    -0.83
FCX     Freeport McMoran C&G B     42.87    -2.85
MYL     Mylan Laboratories Inc     24.90    -0.68





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PremierInvestor.net Newsletter                Wednesday 12-10-2003
                                                    section 2 of 2
Copyright (c) 2003, All rights reserved.
Redistribution in any form is strictly prohibited.

The entire newsletter is best viewed in COURIER 10 for alignment
=================================================================

Tech Stocks
  Bullish Play Updates:  NXTL
  Bearish Play Updates:  SLAB, UTEK

Active Trader (Non-tech)
  New Bearish Plays:     DLTR
  Bullish Play Updates:  FLIR, MRO
  Bearish Play Updates:  TSG

High Risk/Reward
  New Bearish Plays:     NTES
  Bullish Play Updates:  SIRI
  Bearish Play Updates:  FCEL
  Closed Bullish Plays:  RAD

Stock Splits:
  Announcements:         NRGY, THO


==================================================================
Net Bulls (NB) Tech Stock section
==================================================================

============
PLAY UPDATES
============

  --------------------
  Bullish Play Updates
  --------------------


Nextel Comms - NXTL - close: 24.64 change: +0.08 stop: 24.00

NXTL started the month with a bang, breaking out to new highs 
above $26.  Since then, it has been a pretty dreary path for the 
bulls, with the stock steadily drifting lower, coming back to 
confirm support at old resistance.  Yesterday's sharp drop was 
really disconcerting and with the early drop this morning, it 
looked like our stop was in jeopardy.  Fortunately, the bulls 
stepped in right at strong support near $24.25 and lifted the 
stock slightly into the close.  Not only is that area support 
from the broken resistance from November, but it is also the site 
of the 20-dma ($24.46) and the 30-dma ($24.29), as well as the 
bottom of the short-term descending channel or bull flag.  With 
our stop at $24, this certainly looks like a good point to be 
considering new aggressive entries.  More conservative traders 
will want to wait for a break back above $25.25, which would 
constitute a breakout from the bull flag pattern.

Picked on November 26th at  $25.27
Change since picked          -0.63
Earnings Date              1/15/04 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =    16.5 mln






  --------------------
  Bearish Play Updates
  --------------------


Silicon Labs. - SLAB - close: 43.82 change: +0.92 stop: 46.75

It has definitely been a rough time for the chip stocks in the 
past couple weeks, as these momentum favorites have been cast off 
wholesale.  SLAB led the decline with its breakdown under the $45 
level a week ago and since then it has been trying to build some 
firm support just above $42.  Yesterday's sharp drop looked like 
it might precede the next breakdown, but with the SOX holding key 
support at $475, SLAB managed another bounce from just above $42.  
The stock has spent the past four sessions consolidating between 
the $42-45 levels and with the 10-dma ($45.51) exerting downward 
pressure, it looks like something will have to give soon.  A 
rollover from below the 10-dma looks like the best setup for new 
entries.  Aggressive traders can certainly enter on a breakdown 
under $42, but should look for the SOX to be breaking under $475 
at the same time.  Once under $42, SLAB ought to make a quick 
stab down to our $39-40 target area, where we'd recommend 
harvesting gains on the play.  Note that we've lowered our stop 
to $46.75.  SLAB should break down before threatening that stop, 
but in case it turns around, we've limited our risk in the play.

Picked on December 3rd at   $46.55
Change since picked          -2.72
Earnings Date              1/19/04 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =    1.25 mln




---


Ultratech Stepper - UTEK - cls: 26.38 chng: -0.41 stp: 29.25*new*

Tuesday was another day of carnage for Technology stocks and UTEK 
was no exception.  Breaking down sharply in the morning, the 
stock hit our entry trigger in the first hour and then stabilized 
above $27 until after the FOMC meeting.  That brought more 
selling and UTEK ended at the low of the day.  More weakness was 
the result on Wednesday and even a bounce in the Semiconductor 
index (SOX.X) wasn't able to keep UTEK out of the red.  The stock 
ended with another 1.5% loss on the day, closing right at the 
intraday low from August 26th.  We're still looking for continued 
drop towards our $22 target and UTEK is at a favorable action 
point right now.  A break below $26 can be used for momentum 
entries, while a bounce should set up favorable entries on a 
rollover from below the $28.00 area.  Lower stops to $29.25, just 
above the intraday highs from yesterday and last Friday.

Picked on December 7th at   $28.20
Change since picked          -1.82
Earnings Date              1/15/04 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       385 K






==================================================================
Stock Bottom / Active Trader (AT) section
==================================================================

=========
NEW PLAYS
=========

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


Dollar Tree - DLTR - close: 29.52  change: -0.25 stop: 31.51

Company Description:
Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., the nation's largest $1.00 discount 
variety store chain, operates 2,468 stores in 47 states as of 
August 2, 2003. The Company also operates a coast-to-coast 
logistics network of eight distribution centers, with two more 
presently under construction. (Source: Company Press Release.)

Why We Like It:
With a P&F preliminary downside target of $22.00, we think this 
play has a good chance of hitting our $25.75 target.  Late last 
week, amid weakness in the RLX, the S&P retail index, DLTR 
finally slipped beneath its 200-dma and a descending trendline 
that has proved pivotal since late August.

This weakness occurs despite the best efforts of a host of 
analysts. When DLTR slipped lower after its November earnings 
announcement, Wedbush Morgan reiterated its buy rating, saying 
that the company was seeing increased customer traffic and that 
the stock had sold off unnecessarily after the company's earnings 
announcement.  Wachovia reiterated an outperform rating, noting 
that the firm saw improvement in operating margins.  Merrill 
Lynch commented on the company's earnings report, in particular 
mentioning the company's statement that holiday sales might be 
strong but late.  

The current pattern looks like a measured distribution pattern of 
the type that often precedes a fall.  A glance at DLTR's chart 
shows that it tends to slip lower, consolidate a few days, pop up 
a day or so, and then slip lower again.  We think it's about time 
for it to slip lower again, although we can't rule out that brief 
upward pop occurring first.  If that pop should occur, it should 
be stopped at the confluence of the 10- and 200-dma's.  New 
entries could be made at the current level or upon rollovers from 
below the 200-dma if DLTR should bounce.  We're targeting $25.75, 
but play participants should expect volatility since DLTR soon 
moves into a congestion zone on the weekly chart.  Weekly 
oscillators remain bearish, supporting the weakness we see in the 
daily chart, but that congestion zone could provide many 
opportunities for bounce attempts.

Annotated Chart for DLTR:


Picked on Dec 10 at  29.54
Change since picked: -0.00
Earnings Date:    11/25/03 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume:  2.0 million




============
PLAY UPDATES
============

  --------------------
  Bullish Play Updates
  --------------------


FLIR Systems - FLIR - close: 34.35 change: -0.59 stop: 33.90*new*

FLIR has definitely not been an exciting ride, gradually creeping 
higher over the past few weeks and hitting a fresh high just over 
$36 yesterday.  Unfortunately, it was what came after that new 
high that has been more exciting.  FLIR put in a pretty strong 
intraday reversal (along with much of the rest of the market) to 
end in the red and then continued to slide today, losing 1.68% in 
the process of posting its worst close in 2 weeks.  Closing below 
the 10-dma ($34.67) for the first time in a month is another 
disturbing sign, but we're going to give the play another chance 
to bounce.  Note that the 20-dma has now risen to $33.92, which 
is just above where we initiated coverage on the play.  This 
moving average hasn't been violated since this bullish run 
commenced in late October, so we're going to recommend raising 
stops to $33.90 tonight.  With daily oscillators all turning 
bearish in the past couple days, caution is warranted and we need 
to see bullish conviction at the $34 level in order to stick with 
the play.

Picked on November 23rd at  $33.90
Change since picked          +0.45
Earnings Date              1/21/03 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       383 K




---


Marathon Oil Corp - MRO - close: 30.46  change: +0.16 stop: 28.75

Wednesday, MRO made a charge toward its October high.  Although 
MRO didn't quite make it past that previous high, volume expanded 
as MRO moved up, confirming investor confidence in the upside.  
Stochastics and RSI remain in full bullish mode.  Moving averages 
converge and turn up under the price.  MACD also continues to 
slant up, although it shows a tendency to flatten beneath a 
descending trendline.

In fact, MACD diverges from price, not reaching for a new high as 
price reaches for that new high.  That's bearish divergence.  
We'll want to watch that, hoping to see MACD move up through that 
descending trendline.  Until it does, and until MRO moves firmly 
above the October high, investors must consider the possibility 
that MRO could be forming a double top.  

We don't think that's happening.  It's possible to discover both 
bearish and bullish divergence on the MACD, with MACD reaching 
new lows while MRO stayed at an equal low.  That expansion of 
volume reassures us, as does MRO's close above October's closing 
high.  MRO also closed above the October 2000 swing high, the 
October 2001 swing high, and the January 2002 swing high, all in 
the 30.30-30.35 range.  Such a mighty feat may require a period 
of rest in the form of consolidation or a pullback, but that 
pullback will likely be supported at the rising linked 30- and 
50-dma's.  Dips to and bounces from the 10-dma might provide new 
entries, and aggressive momentum players could also consider 
momentum entries on a move above the 10/17 high of $30.55.  
Confirm that volume continues to expand before considering such a 
momentum entry.

Annotated Chart for MRO:


Picked on Dec 05 at  30.22
Change since picked: +0.24
Earnings Date:    01/27/04 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume:  1.2 million




  --------------------
  Bearish Play Updates
  --------------------

Sabre Hldgs - TSG - close: 19.69  change: -0.11  stop: 21.60

Wednesday, TSG announced that China Eastern Airlines became the 
third Asian airline this year to select the company's solutions 
to manage flight schedules and improve profitability.  TSG 
climbed early in the trading day, but then drifted lower.  For a 
week, it's been printing a series of small-bodied candles just 
below $20.00.  

Stochastics and RSI both trend in territory indicating oversold 
conditions.  During Wednesday's trading session, those indicators 
tried several times to hook up, and MACD also attempted a bullish 
kiss from below signal.  By the end of the day, however, both RSI 
and stochastics had turned down again.  While we haven't included 
the shorter-term 5(3)3 stochastics on our daily chart for 
simplicity's sake, those stochastics have been rising all during 
the time TSG has consolidated.  That's usually a bearish signal, 
indicating that despite the upward momentum, price can't make any 
headway.  However, we wouldn't be surprised to see a brief blip 
upward, to be turned back as TSG approaches the descending 30- 
and 50-dma's.  Nor would a rollover from the current level 
surprise us. 

New entries could be taken at the current level, although new 
entrants should be aware of the possibility that TSG may be due 
for a bounce to test resistance.  New momentum entries could also 
be taken on a drop below $19.50, but with the caveat that TSG 
will soon hit a gap zone from April, with that gap beginning at 
$18.78 and ending at $18.12.  We expect a sizeable first bounce 
attempt to begin at that point, if not before.

Annotated Chart for TSG:


Picked on Dec 03 at  19.92
Change since picked: -0.23
Earnings Date:    10/23/03 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume:  727 thousand





==================================================================
HIGH RISK/HIGH REWARD (HR) section
==================================================================

=========
NEW PLAYS
=========

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

Netease.com - NTES - close: 38.96  change: -0.85 stop: 43.01

Company Description:
NetEase.com, Inc. is a leading China-based Internet technology 
company that pioneered the development of applications, services 
and other technologies for the Internet in China. Our online 
communities and personalized premium services have established a 
large and stable user base for the NetEase Web sites which are 
operated by our affiliate. As of September 30, 2003 we had 
approximately 144 million accumulated registered accounts, and 
our average daily page views for the month ended September 30, 
2003 exceeded 329 million. (Source: Company Press Release.)

Why We Like It:
We placed this potential play in the high-risk category rather 
than the tech category because these Chinese Internet-related 
stocks sometimes defy gravity.  Since March, NTES rose from a low 
of $10.11 to an October high of $72.00.  Since then, NTES has 
retraced almost half those gains, finally closing beneath $40.00 
this week.  Although NTES had twice tested sub-$40.00 levels 
since August, this week saw the first time NTES closed beneath 
that level since July.  This week's decline created a double-
bottom breakdown P&F sell signal with a preliminary price 
objective of $31.00, with a lower target still possible.  We're 
using that preliminary objective as our price target, getting out 
ahead of expected round-number support at $30.00.

NTES could eventually see a much lower low.  The type of pattern 
seen on the daily chart often forms about midway through a drop, 
hinting that NTES's decline could be only beginning.  To ensure 
that you're seeing a break out of that pattern, set a trigger at 
a move below Wednesday's $38.24 low.  

A second reason for the high-risk status of this play concerns 
the stop, as NTES's big swings necessitate a wide stop. Our 
initial stop will be placed at $43.01, but more conservative of 
high-risk play participants (if that's not a contradiction) might 
consider pegging their stops to the 200-dma or the top horizontal 
red line or even to round-number resistance at $40.00, setting a 
stop $0.25 or $0.50 above one of those inflection points.

A third reason for the high-risk status concerns likely support 
levels.  The short red horizontal line on the daily chart below, 
just above $36.40, demarks the 50 percent retracement of NTES's 
2003 rally, a point that could provide strong bounce potential.   
Again, the most conservative among play participants choosing 
high-risk plays might consider waiting for a momentum drop below 
that 50 percent retracement before entering the play.  

In addition, the 50-week moving average, another potential bounce 
point, crosses just above $34.00.  This play represents a true 
high-risk/high-reward type play, as the potential for much 
downside exists but risks prove high, too.

Why is NTES dropping?  Most stocks do retrace 1/3 to 2/3 of a 
previous movement, so this drop could have been expected.  In 
addition, late last week, news circulated that Tencent, China's 
most popular Internet messaging service, might be offered as an 
IPO.  Tencent intends to challenge competitors SOHU, SINA, and 
NTES, and with 226 million registered users and 71 million active 
users of its "QQ" instant messaging service, it might be able to 
deflate some of the helium out of those high-flying stocks.  

Annotated Chart for NTES:


Picked on Dec 10 at  38.96
Change since picked: -0.00
Earnings Date:    10/28/03 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume:  4.6 million




============
PLAY UPDATES
============

  --------------------
  Bullish Play Updates
  --------------------


Sirius Satellite Radio - SIRI - cls: 2.12 chng: -0.04 stop: 2.05

After breaking out above the top of its bull flag patten over a 
week ago, SIRI has done a whole lot of nothing.  Bouncing between 
the $2.08 and $2.25 levels, the stock is showing no bias to 
either the upside or downside, as we await the next catalyst to 
move price action.  To its credit, SIRI has held nicely above the 
$2.08 support level, but on the downside, it continues to be 
rejected at the 30-dma ($2.17).  Aggressive traders can look to 
buy the dips near the bottom of the current range in the $2.08-
2.10 area, while those waiting for some sort of bullish 
confirmation will need to see a breakout over $2.25 before 
playing.  Recall that next resistance is likely to appear near 
$2.40 on the way to our bullish target up at $2.65-2.70.  
Maintain stops at $2.05.

Picked on November 30th at   $2.08
Change since picked          +0.04
Earnings Date              1/28/04 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =    53.6 mln






  --------------------
  Bearish Play Updates
  --------------------


FuelCell Energy - FCEL - close: 12.08 change: +0.05  stop: 13.25

Tuesday, FCEL confirmed that the company would broadcast its 
earnings conference call at 10:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, December 
16.  While that's the only news that the company released this 
week, that news serves as a reminder to us of FCEL's upcoming 
earnings.

FCEL dropped this week, building on last week's weakness, but 
Wednesday's candle confirmed the impression that FCEL might soon 
be due for a bounce.  While we expect that bounce to fail, it's 
possible that FCEL might climb under nearby resistance and hold 
there until after the earnings announcement, relieving oversold 
pressure.  We lowered the stop earlier in the week, ensuring a 
break-even exit, but play participants nervous about FCEL's 
reaction ahead of its earnings might elect to book profits now.  
Alternatively, some might wish to set stops lower than our new 
stop, perhaps exiting the play on a move above the 11/21 low of 
$12.72.  

Because of the possibility of a bounce in the making and because 
earnings loom just ahead, we would not suggest new entries at 
this time.
 
Annotated Chart for FCEL:


Picked on Nov 28 at  13.46
Change since picked: -1.38
Earnings Date:    12/16/03 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume:  753 thousand




============
CLOSED PLAYS
============

  --------------------
  Closed Bullish Plays
  --------------------

Rite Aid - RAD - close: 5.89   change: -0.13  stop: 5.75

For a week, RAD outperformed competitors WAG and CVS and the 
retail index RLX.  Wednesday, WAG was the stock outperforming the 
others, holding up relatively well as RAD, CVS, and the RLX dove 
below support.  That dive took RAD below our stop, so we're 
closing the play.  The drop took place on higher-than-average 
daily volume, and, despite the late-day bounce, it tugged RSI and 
stochastics into a full bearish roll.  MACD completed a bearish 
cross from above signal, with the histogram values dropping below 
zero.  

Tuesday, RAD released November same-store sales figures showing 
an increase of 6.2 percent, with prescription drugs and general 
merchandise accounting for the rise in sales.  For the quarter, 
same-store sales increased 6.5 percent.  Year-to-date same-store 
sales increased 5.5 percent.  

Fears about future same-store sales may have impacted this stock 
more than those reported same-store sales increases helped it, 
however.  An article discussing WAG's decision to reject 
insurance plans that require mail-order prescription refills may 
hold the key to WAG's relative strength as measured against the 
other drugstore chains.  WAG claims that trend would reduce its 
business.  Because customers would receive their prescription 
refills via mail, they would not be required to enter the store, 
passing the more profitable front-of-the store items such as 
candy and general merchandise on the way back to the pharmacy.  
That may impact future sales of drugstores that agree to accept 
the terms of the new insurance plans.  

We could not confirm whether RAD has yet made a decision about 
accepting those plans.  It's possible that RAD simply dove ahead 
of its earnings release next week, although CVS's weakness argues 
against that interpretation.  

Picked on Nov 05 at   5.95
Change since picked: -0.06
Earnings Date:    09/25/03 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume:  3.5 million





==================================================================
Split Trader/Stock Splits section
==================================================================

Announcements:
--------------

NRGY announces 2-for-1 split on limited partnership units.

Before today's opening bell, Inergy GP, LLC. (NASDAQ:NRGY) 
announced that its Board of Directors has approved a 2-for-1 stock 
split of its outstanding limited partnership units. 

The payable date for the stock split is set for January 12th, 2004 
to shareholders on record as of January 2nd.  This would be NRGY's 
first split since being listed on the NASDAQ in 2001.


About the company:
Inergy, L.P. -- headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri -- is among the 
fastest-growing Master Limited Partnerships in the country. The 
company's operations include the retail marketing, sale and 
distribution of propane to residential, commercial, industrial and 
agricultural customers. Today, Inergy serves nearly 240,000 retail 
customers from 133 customer service centers throughout the eastern 
half of the United States. The company also operates a growing supply 
logistics, transportation and wholesale marketing business that serves 
independent dealers and multi-state marketers in 35 states and Canada.
(Source: Company Press Release)


---

THO drives in a 2-for-1 split and a new quarterly cash dividend

During today's trading session, Thor Industries Inc. (NYSE:THO) 
announced that its Board of Directors has approved a 2-for-1 stock 
split of its common shares outstanding.  The company also declared 
a quarterly dividend of $0.03 per share.  On top of that the 
recreational vehicle and bus maker's holders also authorized an 
increase in the authorized share count to 250 million from 40 
million.

The payable date for the stock split is set for January 26th, 2004 
to shareholders on record as of January 5th.  This would be THO's 
first split since their 2-for-1 stock split in 2002.

The payable date for the quarterly dividend is set for January 
2nd, 2004 to shareholders on record by December 19th, 2003.  THO 
will keep the dividend at 3 cents a share post-split, effectively 
doubling their dividend payout.


About the company:
Thor is the largest manufacturer of recreation vehicles and the 
largest builder of mid-size buses.
(Source: Company Press Release)




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