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Daily Newsletter, Tuesday, 12/14/2004

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PremierInvestor.net Newsletter                  Tuesday 12-14-2004
                                                    section 1 of 2
Copyright (c) 2004, 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:       New Highs!
Watch List:        Four More Candidates
Market Sentiment:  On Your Mark

=================================================================
MARKET WRAP  (view in courier font for table alignment)
=================================================================
      12-14-2004           High     Low     Volume   Adv/Dcl
DJIA    10676.45 + 38.10 10695.07 10621.03 1.97 bln 1967/1263
NASDAQ   2159.84 + 11.30  2163.50  2145.05 2.28 bln 1896/1261
S&P 100   572.42 +  2.01   573.50   569.75   Totals 3863/2524
S&P 500  1203.38 +  4.70  1205.29  1197.84 
SOX       433.02 +  7.90   434.32   425.22
RUS 2000  643.54 +  5.51   643.62   637.67
DJ TRANS 3757.03 + 32.10  3758.41  3721.89
VIX        12.73 +  0.19    12.97    12.21
VXO (VIX-O)13.45 -  0.10    14.07    13.29
VXN        18.58 -  0.20    19.05    18.35 
Total Volume 4,481M
Total UpVol  2,650M
Total DnVol  1,705M
Total Adv  4383
Total Dcl  2936
52wk Highs  479
52wk Lows    49
TRIN       0.94
NAZTRIN    1.16
PUT/CALL   0.77
=================================================================

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

New Highs!
by Jim Brown

The markets continued to trade higher before the Fed news
today with a quarter point hike already priced into the
mix. The Fed did not disappoint but lacking any new bias
from the Fed traders were left looking for direction once
the Fed meeting was over. Economics continue to be mixed
and traders hoping for the Fed to unravel the puzzle were
comforted only slightly by the same bias replay.

Dow Chart

 
Nasdaq Chart

 

Chain Store Sales finally rebounded from last week with 
a +1.2% gain but only partly recovered the prior weeks 
-1.7% drop. The holiday shopping remains lackluster 
despite the drop in gas prices. All accounts suggest 
consumers have gotten used to steep discounts in the 
last two weeks of the season and are patiently waiting
for the price slashing to begin. 

The International Trade deficit rose to record levels for
October at -$55.5 billion. According to the BEA exports
increased only marginally but imports soared. The $55.5B
number was $5B worse than the $50.9B in September. Alan
Greenspan must be losing sleep at night over this soaring
imbalance given his comments in November. Consensus 
estimates were for only a slight gain to $51.6B. During
October oil hit its highs over $55 and this accounted for
the majority of the jump. The October number was a record
high. If oil prices continue to slip the deficit will 
ease slightly and the weakening dollar should also help. 

Industrial Production rose +0.3% in November and less 
than half the previously announced +0.7% gain in October.
That Oct number was also revised down to +0.6%. This was
the second consecutive month of gains after flattening 
over the summer and dipping into negative territory in
September. Business equipment and construction production
increased +0.4%. This spending on equipment is driven by
the tax depreciation incentives which expire on Dec-31st.
The accelerated depreciation has produced a mini boom in 
computer equipment, servers, routers and switches over
the last quarter. Capacity utilization is still only 
77.6%, 73.5% for durable goods, and still weak enough 
to prevent any significant escalation in prices or a
return of the inflation monster. Until manufacturers
have pricing power brought on by rapid increases in 
demand the inflation component will remain tame. The
tax incentives have driven a +10% rise in business 
equipment production while home electronics production
has declined -6.4% over the same period. 

Another crack in the economic foundation appeared today
in the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey. For the first
time in over a year the index posted a negative growth
number. September of last year began the year long run
of growth in the area and it topped in September of 2004.
Novembers decline to -3 was the second monthly decline
from the high of 22 in September. The rate of decay
appears fairly steep with the order backlog falling to
-17 from -5 in October. Shipments fell to -3 from 14 in
October. New orders fell to -8 from 3 last month. The
six month outlook barely budged with a move down to 32
from 35 and its high for the year. All components fell
in November, most for the second consecutive month. 
Given the growth in some areas is stagnating the drop
in the Richmond region suggests there is a weakening
in the broader economy at the manufacturing level. We
must remember that there is normally a slump in the
fourth quarter that should improve in Q1. We need to
watch these various Fed reports for evidence of that
rebound or lack of a rebound in January. On Wednesday
we get the NY Manufacturing Survey and it has been
very strong with new highs every month. 

The Manpower Employment Survey showed the net hiring
plans for Q1-2005 were positive in 17 of 19 countries.
They were better than Q1-2004 in 12 of 19 countries. 
The US is showing a net change for Q1 of 21%. The raw
numbers show 24% of American companies are planning to
hire, 10% are planning cuts and 59% are not planning
any changes. This results in a positive outlook for
Q1-2005 over Q4-2004 of 21% of companies hiring. Net 
hiring plans in the US exceed year ago numbers in every
region. Only the Midwest is lower for the 4Q comparisons.
This has been a reliable survey for tracking the long 
term trends and the current numbers suggest an average
gain in jobs of about 200K per month for Q1-2005. 

The Fed met, talked and in the end changed four words
in their statement from the last meeting and hiked 
rates by a quarter point as expected. According to the
Fed risks to the upside/downside remain roughly equal,
inflation remained contained, output is growing at a
moderate pace and labor market conditions continue to
improve gradually. Sounds like they are talking about
a turtle race. They noted that energy prices had eased
and employment conditions had returned to gradual 
instead of the "have improved" they used in the prior
statement. This is a back step after the weak November
Jobs report. Leaving the statement the same with the
measured pace clause weakened the thought that they
could quit at 2.5% and reinforced the prior 3.0% 
level as a stopping point for 2005. 

While the markets were tame most of the day while 
waiting for the Fed announcement there was plenty of
stock news. Symantec got crushed with a -16% drop of
-5.41 to $27.75 after news broke that they were in
talks to buy Veritas Software. While this might be
a logical progression for Symantec it immediately
posed questions that the virus business may be easing.
AOL now gives away Macafee software and analysts were
questioning if this acquisition might be out of a need
to diversify rather than just a new business opportunity.
SYMC split 2:1 on Dec-1st and there had been very little
post split depression despite the very strong gains. It
appears it all hit on the same day. 

RIMM was hammered for a -$4.65 drop to $85 after a very
volatile day. The appeals court handed down a ruling in
their long running patent case that voided part of the
lower court judgment but posed additional questions in
other areas. In the initial excitement the stock spiked
to $103.56 from 87.50 and then fell back to 92.50 before
trading was halted. Once the news was disseminated the
stock opened again for trading at 92.50 and fell to 
82.18 once the news was fully understood. I won't 
waste the space here with the long description but it
was a ruling in part for NTP and threw the case back 
into a hostile court. Analysts have been expecting an
out of court settlement to remove the cloud if the
ruling did not go the way RIMM was expecting. This 
could accelerate that process. RIMM is also trying to
get the NTP patents overturned which would make all
the court rulings obsolete. There is a strong argument
that they will be successful in this endeavor. That
makes it even more likely that NTP and RIMM will settle
and business will continue without the cloud. It should
be noted that RIMM has escrowed the full amount of the
prior judgment and will not suffer any material damage
regardless of the final outcome. RIMM was the editors
play last Sunday in anticipation of this verdict. I
am still positive on the stock and would buy it on the
dip once it appears a bottom has formed. 

MSTR rounds out the lineup of losers with a -14% drop
of -9.67 to $56 after it was announced the president
and CFO was leaving to take over as president of Mcafee.
Eric Brown had been seen as the instrumental force 
behind the Microstrategy rebound from the 2001 disaster.
Several brokers downgraded the stock to a hold from buy
until a new face takes charge. Support is well below
the current $56 level so this one could have some more
to lose. 

GE confused investors today with an early affirmation 
of guidance and a positive outlook on the future. GE
said it expects double digit growth in Q4, all of 2005
and for the foreseeable future. Jeffery Immelt told
investors that GE had excellent momentum going into
2005 and the right businesses with the right team to
sustain growth for years to come. GE expects to earn
slightly less than $5.5 billion in Q4 with a 15% rise
in revenue. In 2005 GE expects profits to increase 
13-17% to nearly $20 billion. Cash is expected to 
grow at double digit rates as well despite a $15B
stock buyback program announced last week. The surprise
announcement spiked GE to $37.75 from $32.18 and sent
all the indexes higher in late afternoon. Unfortunately
for GE the good news could not keep the stock positive
and it closed slightly negative after a four day ramp
from $35.50. GE has been moving steadily higher although
excruciatingly slowly since May. Investors sold the 
news today at $37.75 and probably glad to exit before
hitting resistance at $40.

Merck said today that 475 suits had already been filed
due to the Vioxx drug withdrawal. They went to great
lengths to paint a positive picture of their prospects
without Vioxx and promised to defend themselves vigorously.
The stock closed up +57 cents at $29.60 and a six-week 
high after rebounding from $25.60 in late November. 

Bill Gates was appointed to the board at Berkshire
Hathaway and that is probably where he belongs. He and
Warren Buffet both feel rich people don't pay enough
taxes. My suggestion to them is send a check to Washington.
$10 billion each should be just fine. I am sure they can
find a use for the money. Talk is cheap and without action
it rings hollow. 

The markets continued their end of year push higher 
today with the SPX and the Nasdaq closing at new three
year highs. The Dow is gaining altitude but needs to 
pass 10753 to join the party. Abby Cohen made the CNBC
guest list again and repeated her targets from last week
for SPX 1350 and Dow 11800 for 2005. Since her target for
year end 2004 was SPX 1250 she is getting a lot of face 
time on the networks to talk up the market. She is 
expecting a +10% gain for the S&P for 2005 and a GDP at 
+3.5%. She favors tech stocks in the S&P-500 and said 
we should see a continued rise into January from here. 
According to Abby tax selling is over and the flood of 
end of year retirement deposits has begun. Abby, nothing
would please me more for you to be right. 

The Dow closed at 10681 and very near the highs for the
day at 10695. This breakout for the industrials comes 
on the back of the small caps which have reversed their
decline from last week and are challenging new highs 
again. The Russell closed at 643 and less than two 
points from an all time high. 

The Nasdaq finally closed over its January high at 2153
and came very close to setting a new intraday three year
high. The Nasdaq is on the verge of a breakout as is the
Russell and Dow and with the S&P leading the way they
should not be far behind. 

However, we are looking at the highs being tested after
a very strong four day rebound and we could be running
out of traction at the end of a reasonable extension
period. Nothing says we can't move higher but old highs
are obvious places for sellers to wait and for longs to
take profits. Once over these highs the short covering
should increase and buyers hoping for a bigger dip will
be forced to chase prices. 

I have to admit I am please with the markets performance
and look forward to future gains. Unfortunately there is
a historical trend for the day after the Fed to be weak
regardless of the decision. That coupled with the close
right at the highs on the Nasdaq, RUT and very close on
the Dow could combine to produce a pause. One analyst
called this a honeymoon rally on the drop in oil and the
influx of year end cash. While honeymoons do end the
marriage continues. I would look at any dip as a buying
opportunity in anticipation of a continued rise into the
year end. All that worry last week about Santa's failed
appearance has been forgotten.

Time is slipping away for the end of year renewal 
special. Don't wait for the last minute!

Buy the dips until the trend changes. 

Jim Brown
Editor


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

Bemis Co - BMS - close: 28.60 change: +0.51 

WHAT TO WATCH: BMS added 1.8 percent on decent volume to breakout 
over resistance near $28 and hit new six-month highs.  While this 
does look like a tempting bullish entry point BMS still has 
resistance near $29 dating back to early 2002.  We would wait for 
the move over $29.00, which should produce a spread triple-top 
breakout buy signal on its P&F chart.  Speaking of the P&F chart 
is already points to a $45 target.




---

Ryder Systems - R - close: 53.84 change: +1.66

WHAT TO WATCH: We strongly considered adding R to the play list 
tonight as a bullish candidate.  The Dow Jones Transportation 
index just broke out from its recent consolidation to hit new 
multi-year highs.  That should lend R some strength as it bounces 
from rising technical support at its simple 40-dma.  Short-term 
technicals for R are already turning bullish and its MACD is 
hinting at a new buy signal soon.




---

Grainger W.W. - GWW - close: 62.92 change: +1.09

WHAT TO WATCH: GWW was another stock we strongly considered 
adding to the play list as a bullish candidate.  With the 
industrials breaking out to the upside GWW has powered through 
resistance at $62.00-62.50 following four-weeks of consolidation.  
This looks like a bullish entry point.  




---

Wilson Greatbatch Tech. - GB - close: 21.35 change: +1.32

WHAT TO WATCH: GB has been trading in a very tight range between 
$19 and $21 for weeks.  Today's 6.5 percent rally on above 
average volume is a breakout from the range and solidifies the 
breakout over resistance at the top of the August gap at $20.00.  
While we are tempted to go long here the descending simple and 
exponential 200-dma's is distracting.  Point & Figure chart 
traders will note the bullish buy signal and $29 target.





===============================
Market Sentiment
===============================

On Your Mark
- J. Brown

I don't want to be accused of being a cheerleader but the market 
is looking pretty strong right now.  The major indices, as 
overbought as they are, look ready launch into the last two weeks 
that are historically some of the most bullish weeks of the year.  
There are plenty on Wall Street and Main Street expecting the 
early January effect to hit stocks starting tomorrow.  Plus, it 
won't be much longer and we'll hear more talk of a Santa Claus 
rally too.  

The last two sessions have seen some positive market internals.  
Today the advancing stocks outnumbered decliners 9-to-5 on the 
NYSE and 3-to-2 on the NASDAQ.  Plus, the last hour, post-FOMC 
rally today is evidence that traders appeared to be positioning 
themselves for the coming rally.  Of course contrarian wisdom 
suggests that if everyone is looking for something to occur it 
usually fails to show up or fails to perform to the same 
expectations.  However, this time, like the recent post-election 
rally, could be an exception to the contrarian viewpoint.  

We will, however, capitulate to the bears that nothing goes up 
forever or in a straight line.  The more grizzled variety of 
bears might suggest that the piper has to be paid eventually and 
with the volatility indices this low the market should see a 
sharp correction someday.  The good news for us is that we're not 
expecting any big pullbacks between now and year-end.  


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Market Averages

DJIA ($INDU)

52-week High: 10753
52-week Low :  9708
Current     : 10676

Moving Averages:
(Simple)

 10-dma: 10566
 50-dma: 10278 
200-dma: 10237 



S&P 500 ($SPX)

52-week High: 1197
52-week Low : 1053
Current     : 1203

Moving Averages:
(Simple)

 10-dma: 1190
 50-dma: 1153
200-dma: 1124



Nasdaq-100 ($NDX)

52-week High: 1631
52-week Low : 1301
Current     : 1627

Moving Averages:
(Simple)

 10-dma: 1610
 50-dma: 1522
200-dma: 1448



-----------------------------------------------------------------

CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) = 12.73 +0.19
CBOE Mkt Volatility old VIX  (VXO) = 13.45 -0.10
Nasdaq Volatility Index (VXN)      = 18.58 -0.20 


-----------------------------------------------------------------

          Put/Call Ratio  Call Volume   Put Volume

Total          0.77        939,542       727,301
Equity Only    0.61        702,696       425,477
OEX            1.35         35,646        48,141
QQQQ           2.43         20,030        48,847


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Bullish Percent Data

           Current   Change   Status
NYSE          75.6    + 0.4   Bear Correction
NASDAQ-100    78.0    + 0     Bull Confirmed
Dow Indust.   70.0    + 0     Bull Confirmed
S&P 500       76.0    + 1.2   Bull Confirmed
S&P 100       77.0    + 1     Bull Confirmed


Bullish percent measures the number of stocks in an index 
currently trading on a buy signal on their point and figure 
chart.  Readings above 70 are considered overbought, and readings 
below 30 are considered oversold.

Bull Confirmed  - Aggressively long
Bull Alert      - Cautiously long
Bull Correction - Pause or pullback in upward trend
Bear Alert      - Take defensive action if long
Bear Confirmed  - High risk if long, good conditions for shorting
Bear Correction - Pause or rebound in downtrend


-----------------------------------------------------------------

 5-dma: 1.00
10-dma: 1.04 
21-dma: 1.01
55-dma: 1.05


Extreme readings above 1.5 are bullish, and readings below .85
are bearish.  These signals don't occur often and tend be early,
but when they do, they can signal significant market turning
points.


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Market Internals

            -NYSE-   -NASDAQ-
Advancers    1805      1835
Decliners    1011      1201

New Highs     211       153
New Lows        8        11

Up Volume   1220M     1222M
Down Vol.    685M      931M

Total Vol.  1952M     2230M
M = millions


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Commitments Of Traders Report: 12/07/04


Weekly COT report discloses positions held by small specs
and commercial traders of index futures contracts at the 
Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade. COT data 
can be found at www.cftc.gov.

Small specs are the general trading public with commercials being 
financial institutions. Commercials are historically on the 
correct side of future trend changes while small specs tend 
to be wrong.  

S&P 500

Commercial traders are growing a tad more bearish while small
traders have pushed to new bullish levels not seen in many weeks.

Commercials   Long      Short      Net     % Of OI
11/16/04      452,149   468,048   (15,899)   (1.7%)
11/23/04      462,408   491,384   (28,976)   (3.0%)
11/30/04      462,394   491,813   (29,419)   (3.0%)
12/07/04      450,072   498,057   (47,985)   (5.0%)

Most bearish reading of the year: (111,956) -  3/06/02
Most bullish reading of the year:   23,977  - 12/09/03

Small Traders Long      Short      Net     % of OI
11/16/04      166,862   156,751    10,111     3.1%
11/23/04      171,192   150,606    20,586     6.4%
11/30/04      176,031   148,876    27,155     8.3%
12/07/07      187,707   135,776    51,931    16.0%

Most bearish reading of the year:  (1,657)- 5/27/03
Most bullish reading of the year: 114,510 - 3/26/02


E-MINI S&P 500

There has been an interesting switch in the latest data.  
Commercial traders' bearish sentiment, while still strong, has
dropped significantly.  Meanwhile, small traders' bullish bias,
while still extreme, has fallen significantly.

Commercials   Long      Short      Net     % Of OI 
11/16/04      371,282   796,279   (424,997)  (36.4%)
11/23/04      412,724   849,091   (436,367)  (34.6%)
11/30/04      439,074   855,440   (416,366)  (32.2%)
12/07/04      470,553   805,234   (334,681)  (26.2%)

Most bearish reading of the year: (436,367)  - 11/23/04
Most bullish reading of the year:  133,299   - 09/02/03

Small Traders Long      Short      Net     % of OI
11/16/04      445,737     70,169   375,568    72.8%
11/23/04      400,995     62,080   338,915    73.1%
11/30/04      386,665     67,926   318,739    70.1%
12/07/04      311,838     66,496   245,342    64.8%

Most bearish reading of the year: (77,385)  - 09/02/03
Most bullish reading of the year: 449,310   - 06/10/03


NASDAQ-100

We a similar move in the NDX futures.  Commercials remain
bullish but their enthusiasm has waned a bit.  Small traders
remain very bearish but their sentiment has faded a bit too.

Commercials   Long      Short      Net     % of OI 
11/16/04       55,737     33,683    22,054   24.6%
11/23/04       58,159     34,104    24,055   26.0%
11/30/04       56,629     30,571    26,058   29.8%
12/07/04       57,621     34,313    23,308   25.4%

Most bearish reading of the year: (21,858)  - 08/26/03
Most bullish reading of the year:  26,058   - 11/30/04

Small Traders  Long     Short      Net     % of OI
11/16/04       10,533    37,660   (27,127)  (56.2%)
11/23/04       11,153    39,712   (28,559)  (56.1%)
11/30/04        9,902    44,779   (34,877)  (63.7%)
12/07/04       15,489    49,064   (33,575)  (52.0%)

Most bearish reading of the year: (34,877) - 11/30/04
Most bullish reading of the year:  19,088  - 01/21/02

DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL

Commercials traders pared back their bearish sentiment 
while small traders became more bearish on the Industrials.

Commercials   Long      Short      Net     % of OI
11/16/04       22,004    23,744   (1,740)     (3.8%)
11/23/04       22,527    25,537   (3,010)     (6.2%)
11/30/04       22,622    25,411   (2,789)     (5.8%)
12/07/04       25,523    27,351   (1,828)     (3.4%)
 
Most bearish reading of the year: (8,322) -  1/16/01
Most bullish reading of the year: 15,135  - 10/16/01

Small Traders  Long      Short     Net     % of OI
11/16/04        5,937     6,533    ( 596)   ( 4.7%)
11/23/04        5,833     8,299   (2,466)   (17.4%)
11/30/04        5,739     8,536   (2,797)   (19.6%)
12/07/04        5,274     9,507   (4,233)   (28.6%)

Most bearish reading of the year: (12,106) -  3/09/04
Most bullish reading of the year:   8,523  -  8/26/03


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PremierInvestor.net Newsletter                  Tuesday 12-14-2004
                                                    section 2 of 2
Copyright (c) 2004, All rights reserved.
Redistribution in any form is strictly prohibited.

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

In section two:

Stop Loss Adjustments:  QLGC, MNST, TARO

Active Trader (Non-tech Stocks)
  New Bullish plays:    MKC
  Closed Bearish Plays: ED

Stock Splits
  Announcements:        AGP, MDC

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)


==================================================================
Stop Loss Adjustments
==================================================================

QLGC - tech stock long -
  QLGC is beginning to bounce (+2.9 percent) from its 21-dma.
  This looks like a new bullish entry point for a run toward New 
Year's Eve.
 
 
MNST - tech stock long -
  MNST is a new bullish play we added on Monday night.  Shares 
soared another 5.3 percent on huge volume that was almost four 
times the  average.  More importantly MNST broke out over major 
resistance at  the $30.00 level to hit new all-time highs and our 
entry point at $30.11.  Technicals are positive and its MACD has 
produced a new buy signal.  If you missed the entry point a dip 
back towards $30 looks good.
 
TARO - non-tech long -
  TARO added another 4.2 percent to hit another new relative high.
  Shares are nearing our target at $35.00 and its exponential 200-
dma.  Readers can prepare to exit at $35.00.  


==================================================================
Active Trader (AT) Non-Tech Stock section
==================================================================

---------
New Plays
---------


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

McCormick & Co - MKC - close: 38.15 chg: +1.15 stop: 35.99

Company Description:
McCormick & Company, Incorporated is the global leader in the 
manufacture, marketing and distribution of spices, seasonings and 
flavors to the entire food industry - to foodservice and food 
processing businesses as well as to retail outlets.
(source: company press release)

Why We Like It:
Many of us probably have McCormick products in our kitchen 
cupboards and spice cabinets yet we're not suggesting it because we 
like their products.  We like MKC for the bullish technical 
breakout over resistance at $38 on volume that was almost double 
the norm.  After six weeks of consolidating sideways between $36 
and $38 the stock finally broke out thanks to a broker upgrade.  
Bear Stearns started coverage on the stock with an "out perform" 
this morning.  Today's move produced a new MACD buy signal on the 
daily chart.  Unfortunately, the P&F chart doesn't do us any good 
since MKC has already surpassed its bullish target near $33.  We're 
going to target a move into the $40-42 range. 

Annotated Chart:

 

Picked on December 14 at $38.15 
Gain since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date          01/26/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume:       328 thousand




============
Closed Plays
============

  Closed Bearish Plays
  --------------------

Consolidated Edison - ED - close: 44.57 chg: +0.31 stop: 44.51 

Try as we might we can't find a decent bearish candidate.  The 
technical breakdown ED has reversed on us and shares are inching 
higher again.  Yesterday's bounce in the UTY utility index didn't 
help us any.  Now the technical picture on ED is beginning to turn 
bullish again.  The key will be major resistance in the $45.50-
46.00 range.  A breakout here would be incredible bullish.  We have 
been stopped out at $44.51 for a small loss. 


Picked on December 08 at $43.49 
Gain since picked:       + 1.08
Earnings Date          10/21/04 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume:       817 thousand





==================================================================
Stock Splits 
==================================================================

Announcements
-------------

AGP declares a 2-for-1 stock split

 
Tuesday afternoon shortly after the market's closing bell the 
AMERIGROUP Corporation (NYSE:AGP) announced that its Board of 
Directors had approved a 2-for-1 stock split of its common shares.

This split will take the form of a 100 percent stock dividend 
payable on January 18th, 2005 for shareholders on record as of 
December 31st.


About the company:
AMERIGROUP Corporation, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, 
is a multi-state managed healthcare company focused on serving 
people who receive healthcare benefits through publicly-sponsored 
programs including Medicaid, State Children's Health Insurance 
Program and FamilyCare. The Company operates in Texas, New Jersey, 
Maryland, Illinois, Florida and the District of Columbia.
(source: company website)

--

MDC declares a 30 percent stock split

 That's right.  You read that correctly.  M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. 
(NYSE:MDC) management has elected to announce a 30 percent stock 
split. 

That means that shareholders will receive an extra three for every 
ten shares they own.  Another way to say this would be a 13-for-10 
stock split.  

The payable date is January 12th, 2005 for shareholders on record 
as of December 28th.  The company will continue to pay a 15-cent 
cash dividend on a post-split basis. 



About the company:
MDC, whose subsidiaries build homes under the name "Richmond 
American Homes," is one of the largest homebuilders in the United 
States. The Company also provides mortgage financing, primarily 
for MDC's homebuyers, through its wholly owned subsidiary 
HomeAmerican Mortgage Corporation. MDC is a major regional 
homebuilder with a significant presence in some of the country's 
best housing markets. The Company is the largest homebuilder in 
Colorado; among the top five homebuilders in Northern Virginia, 
suburban Maryland, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City; 
and among the top ten homebuilders in Jacksonville, Northern 
California and Southern California. MDC also has established 
operating divisions in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, West Florida, 
Philadelphia/Delaware Valley and Chicago.
(source: company website)


==================
  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

TM      Toyota Motor Corp          76.35     +1.35
MRK     Merck & Co                 29.62     +0.57
MO      Altria Group               60.77     +0.92
JNJ     Johnson & Johnson          61.43     +0.79
COP     ConocoPhillips             86.65     +0.84
PRU     Prudential                 53.11     +0.98

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

PIR     Piear 1 Imports            19.10     +1.24
MPS     Modis Professional Svcs    11.50     +1.42
CKR     CKE Restaurants Inc        13.80     +1.75
ELON    Echelon Corp               10.50     +1.38
VIRL    Virage Logic Corp          18.28     +2.48
ACR     American Retirement Corp    9.79     +1.01

---------------------------------------
Breakout to Upside (Stocks over $20)
---------------------------------------
  
GIS     General Mills              48.52     +1.25
ERTS    Electronic Arts            60.61     +3.04
VRTS    Veritas Software           27.38     +2.19
MKC     Mccormick & Co             38.15     +1.15
EMN     Eastman Chemical Co        55.60     +1.65
MNST    Monster Worldwide          31.08     +1.58
TTC     Toro Co                    80.36     +3.12

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

SYMC    Symantec                   27.45     -5.41
RIMM    Research In Motion         85.44     -4.65
TK      Teekay Shipping            43.69     -2.71
MSTR    Microstrategy              56.22     -9.67
AFCO    Applied Films              20.12     -2.10

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

FFH     Fairfax Financial         164.95     -5.95

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