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Schaeffer's Daily Market Blog Features Progressive, Oracle, Portal Software, Hewlett-Packard, and Deere & Co.

CINCINNATI -- Among the stocks featured in the April 12th edition of Schaeffer's Market Blog are Progressive (NYSE:PGR), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), Portal Software (NASDAQ:PRSF), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), and Deere & Co. (NYSE:DE). Schaeffer's Market Blog is just one of the many free market commentaries written everyday at - the home of Bernie Schaeffer and Schaeffer's Investment Research. The Market Blog is written throughout every trading day by Schaeffer's financial analysts and traders. They are quick insights to the day's most notable market activity from an options perspective. For additional information about this report or to have it delivered to you free via email every day click on the following link. .

Schaeffer's Market Blog for Wednesday, April 12, 2006:

Below are just a few of today's Market Blog entries. Click here to read all of today's Market Blog. .

9:59 AM Progressive Jumps on Strong Earnings

Before the open this morning, Progressive (NYSE:PGR) reported that first-quarter earnings rose to $436.6 million, or $2.21 per share, compared to its year-ago profit of $412.7 million, or $2.04 per share. Analysts had predicted a profit of $1.96 per share for the three-month period. During the quarter, the company said its net premiums written increased two percent to $3.68 billion.

The positive earnings news caused the shares to gap higher this morning, jumping above former resistance at their 10-day and 20-day moving averages. The equity is also back above its 10-week moving average, which it has not logged a weekly close above since late December. At last check, the security was up more than three percent in early trading.

12:01 PM Oracle to Acquire Portal Software

This morning, Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) announced that it has agreed to acquire Portal Software (NASDAQ:PRSF) for $4.90 per share, or $220 million total. The company is a provider of billing and revenue management technology for the telecommunications and media markets. At last check, PRSF had jumped more than 15 percent to a new annual higher, while ORCL was down six cents at $13.77.

Technically speaking, ORCL has sidled between 13.60 and 14 since mid-March. This narrow range has allowed the shares to consolidate into support at their ascending 20-day moving average. The stock has not suffered a daily close below this short-term trendline since the start of March. However, the equity has battled resistance at the 14 level for more than four years, making it definitely a level worth watching.

12:15 PM Hewlett-Packard Snags Contract

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) announced today that it has been awarded a 10-year, $236-million contract to provide information technology services to Avago Technologies. Avago Technologies is the largest privately held semiconductor company in the world. However, investors seem rather unimpressed with the news, as the shares have drifted five cents lower this afternoon to $32.49. In fact, after rallying more than 110 percent from its August 2004 low to its February 2006 high, the security has stalled a bit. The stock is currently moving sideways into support at its rising 20-week moving average, which has guided the shares steadily higher. In fact, HPQ has not logged a weekly finish below this intermediate-term trendline since late April 2005.

2:38 PM Farm Machinery Continues to Gain

Today is pretty much what you'd expect - very low volume and not much action. Internals are flat at the NYSE and slightly bullish on the Nasdaq. The one group that continues to amaze me is the farm machinery names, as they simply continue to soar higher and higher. The one making the headlines today is Deere & Co. (NYSE:DE), which is up more than 2.5 percent to another new all-time high. Some other names to watch from this sector are Bucyrus International (BUCY), AGCO (AG), and JLG Industries (JLG) .

For more information on these stocks or any stock in your portfolio, feel free to visit our Schaeffer's Equity Scorecard feature. Also, for more information on what makes up these scores, or if you want more filters and screens, take a 30-day trial to our Schaeffer's Gold. .

Take advantage of the timely Schaeffer commentaries by signing up for their free e-newsletters -- Opening View, Market Recap and Monday Morning Outlook. Click here to have the Schaeffer's commentaries delivered to you free via email every day. .

About Schaeffer's Investment Research (

Schaeffer's Investment Research, founded by Bernie Schaeffer in 1981, is a financial information and trading resources company. It publishes Bernie Schaeffer's Option Advisor, the nation's leading options subscription newsletter. The firm's contrarian approach focuses on stocks with technical and fundamental trends that run counter to investor expectations. The firm's website, , is recognized as one of the leading information sources for stock and options traders and was cited as the top options website by both Forbes and Barron's. Click here for more details about Schaeffer's trading methodology: .
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 12, 2006
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