An Insider's Check on Digex

Plus, GBS reviews Compaq, Sharper Image, Computer Associates and more.
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Here's something funny: I'm a regular commentator on my kids' comings and goings, but I rarely -- bordering on never, I'm afraid -- say boo about my wife,



But since I wanted to talk about



today (full and complete disclosure: Nancy is a company president, and as an executive, she gets stock options, making me, albeit indirectly, woefully long the stock), I thought I'd spend a few moments waxing poetic about her.

So let me just say this: I married up. Seriously, there isn't a day that goes by where I don't thank the stars for hypnotizing her into marrying me. She's smarter (strike that,


smarter), much better looking (trust me, even that's an understatement), a better athlete (what, you thought those swimming genes my girls have came from me?) and -- this one's most annoying to me -- funnier than I am!

Technical Analysis: Join the discussion on

TSC message boards.

But forget all that for a moment, because here's what really matters: She's my best friend. And while she'll laugh at my stupid jokes, she'll also kick me in the butt and have me raise my own performance -- whether it's in golf, writing or trading -- to the next level. In short, I'm where I am today for one reason alone: I have a great friend. Thanks, Nancy.

I know, we all need to go to the dentist now to clean out our newly formed cavities. But darn it, if I didn't say all that, I couldn't say this:

Sweetie, stop bugging me about the Digex chart. It's fine, already!

Yeah, just about every day, or at least every day Digex drops a bit, I get a frantic phone call: "Hey, what's going on with Digex today?" What, like I know? I mean she's the insider, for crying out loud! (This speaks volumes, by the way, about the reliability of insider trading. Heck, she was


(IBM) - Get Report

CEO Lou Gerstner's executive assistant for nine months, and my kids knew more about where IBM's stock price was going than she did.)

Anyway, a quick look at Digex says that its situation is normal. No problemo here.

Now that should hold her off for, oh, about 24 hours!

Ah, but many good questions this week, so let me tackle some from my non-spousal list. And send yours along to

First up, reader Doug Stringham wanted to know if blow-off tops can occur with indices, as they do with stocks. Doug, they can, but they're not nearly as noticeable as blow-off bottoms. Let me show you the difference.

The first is the bottom put in by the


in the summer of '96. This was a beauty.

OK, now here's a blow-off top, although to really see the massive volume, I had to use a two-day chart, as the picture was a little clearer. Even so, it still doesn't stick out like the bottoms usually do.

Next up, Web resources:

I'm trying to find a Web site that provides the same function as Investor's Business Daily, namely displaying today's stocks that are trading at X times their normal daily volume. Just looking at "volume movers" or "percentage gainers" doesn't really help. Any ideas? -- Stacey Dewhurst

Stacey, one of the most reliable devotees to the


, William O'Neill and CANSLIM methodologies has always been Sure enough, they've put the best of


online, and they update the numbers daily. Check it out at

Many requests, of course, for the

Red Hots, so this week, let's look at

JDS Uniphase


. Keep in mind, though, this snapshot becomes old news about 30 seconds after I look at the chart!

Onward we move, this time taking a look at

Sharper Image


, which Dave Hansen wanted to know about. Sharper Image has those ubiquitous mall stores and is now trying to make the transition to being a Web destination. Don't know how the company is faring in that regard, but something must be working.

And finally, we conclude with reader Bud Murphey's request for

Computer Associates

(CA) - Get Report

, which used to be new tech and now, I'm afraid, is old tech. Still, it's a pretty nice chart, Bud.

So that concludes yet another zany week in the market, where if you can remember when


(DELL) - Get Report

was a Red Hot, well, you're considered an old fogey.

Gary B. Smith is a freelance writer who trades for his own account from his Maryland home using technical analysis. At time of publication, he held no positions in any securities mentioned in this column, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Smith writes five technical analysis columns for each week, including Technician's Take, Charted Territory and TSC Technical Forum. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he welcomes your feedback at