Market Seems Cursed On Triple-Witching Friday
Cold economic realities created a winter-like feel to the markets yesterday, prompting
some disappointed Dems to hurl snowballs at market prognosticators who predicted that a
Bush victory would translate into an immediate rally. Options players prepared for a spike
in volatility today, in the wake of MSFTâ€™s earnings warnings (the first in ten
years). Indications of a slowing economy and similar warnings in the banking sector are
making for a day of moderate volume. Call-buying and put-selling are predominating.
Pre-open order volume was moderate today. In the overall market, call sellers led
buyers 3:2, and put sellers led buyers 3:2 as well. The top five pre-bell order volume
leaders today are as follows: MSFT, QCOM, INTC, ORCL and AOL. MSFT call sellers outpace
buyers 3:2, while put buyers led sellers at the same ratio. QCOM put sellers dominated
buyers 2:1. DELL put buyers were out in force, leading sellers 2:1. ORCL call sellers led
buyers 3:1. INTC call sellers pushed ahead of buyers 3:1 as well. LU call sellers
dominated buyers at a lopsided 6:1.
First-hour order volume remained moderate. Overall, call buyers now lead 3:2, and put
sellers led buyers 3:2. The top five order volume leaders today are as follows: MSFT,
QCOM, CSCO, INTC and EMC. SEBL call buyers outpace sellers 3:1, while put sellers led
buyers 6:1. CIEN put buyers dominated sellers 8:1. AOL call sellers led buyers 3:2. INTC
call sellers pushed ahead of buyers 3:1 as well. LU call sellers outpaced buyers 3:2
We expected a correction in the market, but not before an upside bounce. Warnings from
big players continue to wound an already jittery market and wreak havoc on consistent
sentiment reading. More gyrations will make legging into spreads especially hazardous.