Small slice of life: When I was growing up and basically lived on the golf course, I'd often go out and play with whomever was on the tee. Often it was some old codger who, after hacking it around for a few holes, invariably told me how he "used to be a 2 handicap, had once won the city championship, and now, due to other more important things in his life, was lucky to break 90." I'd always feign sympathy, but secretly think, "Yeah, you used to be good -- like I'm going to win the

Masters

tomorrow!"

Well, guess what? Now I'm that old codger! A friend from out of town visited me the other day, and I treated him to a quick nine holes before he had to head to the airport. What a mess -- I shot 46, and that included a few six-foot gimmes, assorted do-overs and two mulligans. And sure enough, what did I say? "I used to be a 2 handicap, had once won, etc." Trust me, it was pathetic. My only hope is that he wasn't feigning that look of sympathy!

Oh, yeah, we do have one filing for the "whoops" department.

Last week I analyzed

broadcast.com

(BCST)

as if it was an independent company. My mistake, as I forgot broadcast.com was being acquired by

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

. Reader

Samuel Leichman

, among others, took the time to straighten me out:

Isn't it likely that the movement in broadcast.com will be driven by the action in Yahoo!, unless some information increases/decreases the prospects for this deal closing? This one is driven by the arbs, baby!

Thanks, SL and everyone else who educated me. As we say here in the Smith household: my bad!

You have questions, I have answers, and as you can see by my reading of broadcast.com, they're not often right! But, hey, if you didn't read regularly, you'd miss all my great stories. So send all relevant queries to

technicalforum@thestreet.com along with your full name.

2 Cents on 24/7

Gary, I am sort of new to TA. I found your chart analysis on MCI WorldCom (WCOM) very interesting. I got in at 45 and sold half last week at 85 to buy 24/7 Media (TFSM) . Do you have any feelings about the company? Seems to be on the verge of a breakout but has been milling about smartly for a couple of weeks despite good news and a couple of buy recommendations. Any thoughts? -- Becky Haines

TurboChef Is Warming Up

Gary, What do you think of TurboChef Technologies' (TRBO) chart here? It's a small company with revolutionary technology for ovens that Maytag is about to market. There has been a small "buzz" on Wall Street about the oven that cooks a meal in just a few minutes. -- Robert Packman

Not Keen on Keane

Gary, I would appreciate your interpretation of Keane (KEA) . This stock can't seem to get the respect it seems to deserve on a fundamental basis. Has it made a bottom, and what do you think from here? -- Joel Newman

Knight Looks Solid

Gary, I enjoy your technical analysis a lot. I find it to be very informative, especially your trendline theory on these Internet highfliers. I jumped into Knight/Trimark (NITE) in April. I wanted to know your thoughts on this company and its short- and long-term trends. -- Todd Klavens

AOL Bottom? We'll See

Gary, I'm just learning the nuances of technical analysis. America Online (AOL) (the sky?) is falling. Where will it come to rest? Where will be a good point to step up and buy? -- Scott Kramer

Factoring News Into TA

Gary, I am an investor, not a trader, but I use technical analysis (not too well, I am afraid) to try and determine good buy and sell points. One of the flaws with your system, from my prospective, is not considering news that causes a stock to move. For example, MCI Worldcom, which I own, moved on the Nextel (NXTL) news, and reversed when the deal was squashed. Conexant Systems (CNXT) - Get Report, which I watch and may buy, issued debt, which I believe caused its stock to drop. This may be the perfect time to buy. -- Marty Heiligman

Marty,

You raise a good point, and that's whether to include "news" in your TA. Certainly it can be done, but here's the problem: Which news? For example, you included merger/acquisition news, which I also include because if the deal is officially announced, I never trade the target company.

But what about analyst upgrades? Product announcements? Earnings?

Securities and Exchange Commission

violations? You see, there are loads of news we can use, the trick being where to draw the line. In my case, I've found that once I make an exception, almost every bit of news looks important enough to influence my trading. And once I start taking into account many pieces of extraneous information, I've gone from a KISS method to a KICS (Keep It Complex, Stupid) method.

So, use some, all or any piece of news you deem important. Just be consistent in your approach.

Net.B@nk On the Move

Gary, What is your take on Net.B@nk (NTBK) ? With the 3-for-1 stock split, and the fact that its price-earnings ratio is small compared to other Internet stocks (and the fact that it even has a P/E ratio!), it seems poised to soar. -- Rohit Puskoor

Bearish on Staples

Gary, I'm interested in your take on the current Staples (SPLS) chart. I am long and believe the current support to be approximately 25 5/8. Would you characterize 29 3/4 or 33 7/8 as the more accurate resistance level? Also, I would appreciate your short and long technical opinion. -- Bill O'Brien

Go2Net Volatile But Viable

Gary, Oh great one of the charts, please use your mystic powers and look at this Go2Net (GNET) chart. I am in from 25, but I added to my position just before the last split was announced. Since then, it's been a fast, steady sled ride down. Will we see a reversal? What do the tea leaves tell you, swami? -- Jeff Calvert

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 had no positions in the stocks mentioned, 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 also writes Technician's Take, which appears every Monday, and Charted Territory, which runs Wednesdays. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he welcomes your feedback at

gbsmith@ibm.net.