Options In Focus: STEC Inc. and Indexes Extend Gains In Choppy Trading

–(www.FinancialNewsUSA.com)– 01/01/2010 – Financial News industry news provided by Financial News USA. It’s suspected some bulls were likely tuned into STEC’s chart, as Monday’s action appears to be an attempt at reversing some of STEC’s steep three-month downtrend. Shares are now positioned within a large price gap after forming a several week and mostly flat looking base and breaking above the highs of the bearish gap session back on November 4.

For a few other bulls, continued support for shares following last Tuesday’s “Buy” initiation and $23 price target from broker Broadpoint Amtech, could be a motive. Lastly and according to Barron’s online Tech Trader Daily, Gordon Johnson of Hapolaim Securities, an analyst who was “somewhat” prescient in calling a top in STEC back in October; said takeover speculation could be playing a hand in an interview.

Whatever the motivation, option traders were equally busy and also appeared to be positioning bullishly. [Read the full article]

The Dow rose 0.3% to a new 14-month high. The Nasdaq hit a new 15-month high, rising 0.2%. Meanwhile, the NYSE composite and S&P 500 ticked up 0.1% each.

Telestone Technologies (TSTC) gapped up and rallied 8% to a new high. The company develops wireless communications technologies. Earnings and sales surged 273% and 125%, respectively, in the latest reported quarter.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) vaulted 7% in heavy trading. The stock cleared a 76.60 buy point from a double-bottom base. Green Mountain’s Accumulation/Distribution Rating has improved to B+ from D+ earlier this month. The coffee distributor’s sales have accelerated for five straight quarters.

Jinpan International (JST) gapped up and rose 7% to a record high in twice its average trade. The stock cleared a three-week consolidation. Jinpan makes transformers for voltage distribution equipment in China. [Read the full article]

Annaly offers investors a 16.8% dividend yield. The company invests in real estate that is being propped up by the government, thus much of the danger inherent to REITs is removed.

“We say, ‘Running a mortgage- backed portfolio right now is so easy a caveman could do it,’ ” BGB Securities analyst Merrill H. Ross told IBD in October.

Since then, little has changed. Annaly slid a bit further and then rallied until Christmas Eve. Other than its chart action, the same story is in place.

Douglas Harter, a Credit Suisse Securities analyst, wrote that the REIT should earn $2.75 in 2010, up slightly from what 2009 will likely end at. He’s less bullish, however, than the consensus estimate of $2.99. His price target is 19.

Harter says it could be tied to the ex-dividend date – in other words, traders re-evaluating the stock after the dividend is paid. It fell 70 cents. The quarterly dividend is 75 cents a share. [Read the full article]

The move lifted the Commercial Services-Security/Safety industry group to one of the day’s top gains.

Thinly traded American Science is one of 13 stocks in the 45-stock group to carry an EPS rating equal to or better than 80.

China Fire & Security (CFSG), Cornell (CRN) and Geo Group (GEO) hold the group’s top EPS Ratings. The group ranked No. 153 among industries Monday.

American Science surged after the Army posted a notice Dec. 24 to the FedBizOpps.gov Web site. The notice said the Army planned sole-source negotiations for 37 of American Science’s Z-Backscatter trailers for use in Afghanistan.

A note Monday from Stifel Nicolaus analyst Stephen Levenson said the deal would put the company ahead of his projections for fiscal 2010 and 2011.

In addition, Levenson said American Science could benefit from more stringent airport security measures after the failed attack on a Delta airliner headed to Detroit on Christmas Day. [Read the full article] About Financial News USA

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