Call option volume for Omnicare (OCR) was significantly up today, and there does not appear to be any related news. Omincare’s stock price was also little changed from Friday’s close. Omnicare is in the pharmaceutical services business targeting the geriatric market segment. The company provides a wide range of products and services including pharmacy services to nursing facilities and assisted living communities.
Call option volume for Blackboard (BBBB) is significantly up today, and there does not appear to be any related news. Blackboard’s stock price is also little changed from Friday’s close. Blackboard provides software applications and services to the education industry. If you’re in the education market segment and want to educate online, then Blackboard is the company for you. Their Blackboard Learning System enables education providers to provide a comprehensive online learning environment.
Australia, which managed to avoid a full-blown recession amid the worldwide economic downturn, raised its interest rates from 3% to 3.25% on October 6, 2009. It is the first G20 nation to tighten its monetary policy, as well as the only one to see its economy expand in the first half of 2009. The move was not a complete surprise, although it did come a month or two earlier than most economists expected. The Australian economy saw a slight contraction in the final quarter of 2008, but it recovered quickly and exceeded expectations in the second quarter of this year. Increased commodity prices and Chinese demand for its natural resources helped boost growth.
Ever since the financial crisis of last fall, credit markets have been tightened up. Consumers and small businesses have had limited availability of credit, causing economic growth to come to a standstill. Some financial experts see signs of credit loosening, perhaps even thawing. Here are a few reasons why some are optimistic that the credit market is stabilizing.
Call option volume for Force Protection (FRPT) was significantly up yesterday, and there does not appear to be any related news. Force Protection’s stock price was also up about 5% yesterday. Force Protection manufactures ballistic and blast-protected vehicles for military applications. Having problems with land mines, no problem, Force Protection has just the vehicle for you. Force Protection’s Buffalo MPCV (Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle) is one of the most advanced mine resistance vehicles in the world.
Call option volume for Verigy (VRGY) was significantly up yesterday, and there does not appear to be any related news. Verigy announced on October 6 that it was providing its high speed memory system product to ISE Labs, good news, but good enough news to spark large call option volume? Also of note, Verigy’s stock price closed unchanged yesterday, even with all of the interest in its call options.
Stock option volume for Check Point (CHKP) was significantly up yesterday, and there does not appear to be any related news. Check Point is in the business of providing hardware and software security products. The company provides products for data traffic inspection, intrusion prevention, virtual private networks, content screening and messaging security. Check Point markets its products to large companies and to individual consumers as well. For example in the consumer space, Check Point provides software for securing a PC’s hard drive.
Stock and option volume for EZCORP (EZPW) was significantly up yesterday, probably due to their pending earnings conference call scheduled for today at 3:30pm CST. EZCORP is basically in the pawn shop/short term credit business with 294 pawn stores and 477 signature loan stores in the U.S. and 38 pawn stores in Mexico. With the economy in the doldrums and consumers looking for cash, EZCORP should be raking in the profits. Competitors to EZCORP include First Cash Financial Services (FCFS) and Cash American International (CSH). Interestingly all three of these companies are based in the state of Texas.
Stock and stock option volume for GFI Group (GFIG) was significantly up last Friday and the stock price was up over 5%. No significant news related to GFI Group was published on Friday either. GFI Group operates as an inter-dealer broker for over-the-counter derivative products. The company provides software related to trading and provides brokerage services for financial related derivatives, credit, bond, foreign exchange, exotic and interest-rate swaps.
Stock and option volume for Silicon Labs (SLAB) and RF Micro Devices (RFMD) spiked yesterday and their stock prices were also down -4% and 14%, respectively. Silicon Labs designs and develops integrated circuits, primarily in the analog and mixed signal space. SLAB has products in RF (Radio Frequency), video, satellite set-top box and modems. Silicon Labs products have a range of applications from radios and video recorders to telephone and networking equipment.