Option Investor

Daily Newsletter, Monday, 04/16/2007

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Table of Contents

  1. Market Wrap
  2. New Option Plays
  3. In Play Updates and Reviews

Market Wrap

Option-Expiration Week Begins with a Bang

Jeff Bailey is away on a much-deserved vacation this week. I, Linda Piazza, am substituting for him in tonight's Wrap.


U.S. equities exploded higher Monday morning, the beginning of option-expiration week. Although some pre-market economic releases showed rising prices, those who worry about inflationary pressures were trammeled underfoot by those stampeding to buy more equities. They bought all types of equities, with almost all sectors catching fire. Consumer spending appeared to be healthy, this morning's batch of earnings reports from financial companies such as Citigroup soothed some concerns, crude dropped and upgrades of companies such as AT&T and Amazon abounded.

By noon, the Dow and the Nasdaq had joined the SPX in the feat of climbing above their closing prices the day before February's sell-off. The Wilshire 5000 had climbed to a new all-time high. Indices paused, sinking back a little in the early afternoon, then surged again into the close.


The SPX has gained ten out of the last twelve sessions. According to candlestick theory, it's had enough "record" sessions--sessions that moved higher--that it's approaching the end of the newest trend. Let's take a look at what the charts might say about that.

Annotated Daily Chart of the SPX:

The SPX charged up to hit the daily Keltner target that I had mentioned last week but hadn't trusted to be viable. I had mentioned the targets for various indices with some trepidation, trepidation that turned out not to be warranted. Those targets will be detailed again in the "What about Tomorrow?" section, where they were included last Thursday, but if the SPX begins sustaining daily closes above daily Keltner resistance, just above today's close, the next target is currently near 1,499.

Typically, however, this particular channel resistance does prompt either sideways consolidation while the 9-ema rises from below, playing catch-up, or it prompts a downturn to retest that daily 9-ema's support. That daily 9-ema is just under 1446 currently. Remember that consolidation can be accomplished by a push higher that is not sustained through the end of the day, with that push piercing Keltner resistance but closing beneath it again. Consolidation does not preclude that push higher. Consolidation does not prove a reversal is in progress, either. It can result in further sideways behavior until the overbought pressures are relieved.

The Dow did not hit its daily Keltner target today, with that target now at 12,793. The Dow's chart is the one I used last Thursday to urge caution about bullish plays if the wedges were broken to the upside. I point this out so that you know I didn't conveniently invent the blue trendline at which the Dow stopped today. It was on the chart last week.

Annotated Daily Chart of the Dow:

The Dow stopped right on that rising channel's resistance. As I pointed out last Thursday, these so-called "bearish" rising wedges sometimes just broaden out into a rising price channel. There was plenty of room for new bulls to profit this time, but today's close, parked at resistance that has held since March, after many days of strong gains, just ahead of one of the most important economic releases of the week, may be a scary place for bulls to be sitting tonight. I would have locked in some of my profit if I had been long a bunch of calls, but that candle's shape suggests I would have been nearly alone. Shorts who had held onto the bitter end today, maybe first expecting a pop-and-drop day and then a sell-off in the last hour, must have helped fuel that end-of-day rise.

Like the SPX, the Nasdaq ended the day just at or slightly under daily Keltner resistance. If the Nasdaq begins sustaining closes above that resistance, the next target on that chart is currently way up at 2,613.54. However, like the SPX, the Nasdaq often either consolidates or pulls back toward stronger support upon first hitting the Keltner resistance level it hit today. Let's look at what can be discovered on the regular chart.

Annotated Daily Chart of the Nasdaq:

The RUT was another index that ended the day jammed against daily Keltner resistance. If the RUT begins sustaining daily closes above that resistance, then it sets a potential next upside target just under 858. You know the spiel by now about consolidation or a pullback being the high-probability next move once this Keltner level has been hit, but do be aware that the RUT tends to overrun targets more than some other indices. Let's look at the regular candlestick chart.

Annotated Daily Chart of the Russell 2000:

The TRAN is lagging some other indices in many ways. It, too, posted a strong gain today and a breakout above its rising wedge formation, but the TRAN has far to go to even approach its February high, and its breakout isn't as staggering as on some other indices. Friday, it even lost ground. I'm keeping a watch on this index, and remain somewhat wary because the TRAN is far from occupying its usual leading-index status. So far, wariness is all that's warranted.

Annotated Daily Chart of the TRAN:

The TRAN's daily Keltner target is just under 5,150 currently, but the TRAN, unlike most other indices, did not closely approach it today. That's another sign that the TRAN is not leading, unless it's leading in hesitation!

The opposite is true of the NYSE. The NYSE hit that daily Keltner resistance Friday, a day ahead of many other indices. Today it broke higher and soared up to the next target, closing at that resistance. Its daily chart shows the staggering gains made over the last three trading days.

Annotated Daily Chart of the NYSE:

Keep in mind that a so-called parabolic move can indicate that bullish enthusiasm is overdone and all who can buy are in the process of buying. Don't assume a rollover, but be cautious with short-term bullish gains from this point.

Today's Developments

At 8:30 this morning, the April NY Empire State Manufacturing Survey was released. That survey did not meet expectations for a headline number of 7.6, but instead inched up only to 3.8 from March's 1.9 headline number, indicating that the manufacturing sector is not as strong as hoped. This survey is not as influential as the more closely watched Philly Fed number, but bulls should still have been a little troubled that the headline number did not meet expectations while the survey's prices-paid component jumped to 40.5 from the previous 30.2. The employment index fell to 5.4 from the previous 11.4. New orders climbed but shipments fell. Frankly, I found the market reaction puzzling ahead of tomorrow's CPI, when we should have seen some hesitation.

March's retail sales figures also appeared during that same time slot, with that number released by the Commerce Department. Retail sales slightly beat expectations of 0.6-percent gains by climbing 0.7 percent, but higher gas costs contributed to that gain. Gains in clothing and building materials also prompted the gain, but those assessing the number concluded that it wasn't higher-volume sales that pushed the number higher but rather higher costs. That should also have been worrisome to those on inflation watch. Maybe the watch tower has been deserted.


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The next economic report was February's Business Inventories, expected to see a gain of 0.3 percent. The number came in right in line with expectations. Sales increased more than inventories, by 0.4 percent, but inventories are still high relative to sales when compared to the last two-year period. The inventory-to-sales ratio was 1.29 for February. Other details included a decline of 0.7 percent in retail auto inventories. Some interpreted that as meaning that businesses are working off some of their excess inventories, but is that due to increasing sales or a reluctance to stockpile autos that might not be sold?

The last release of the day came from the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo, not from the government. The April Wells Fargo/NAHB housing market index fell to 33 in April, down from March's 36, only barely above last September's 15-year low of 30. It dipped slightly below the consensus expectation of 35, with all four regions of the country reporting slipping numbers. This number measures how confident U.S. builders are about the housing market, with the chief economist for the NAHB concluding that problems in the sub-prime sector continued to hammer away at builders' confidence levels. That economist mentioned downside risks that remain considerable.

Several important companies reported earnings today, with Citigroup (C), Wachovia (WB), Mattel (MAT) and Eli Lilly (LLY) among that group. Quarter over quarter, C's profit dropped 11 percent. Excluding a previously revealed charge to reorganize and cut costs, however, C reported net income of $5.88 billion or $1.18 a share, beating expectations of $1.09 a share. Some market watchers scrutinized the company's credit costs, and those were driven higher by credit costs and an increase in loan loss reserves. A year ago, the company held $154 million in reserve. This year, it has added $597 million in those reserves. C was quick to say that some of those increases were due to portfolio growth.

Although Citigroup couldn't hold onto all its early gains and in fact produced a somewhat bearish daily candle, its earnings report did much to soothe markets worried about how the spillover from the sub-prime debacle would impact financials. In addition, Fremont General (FMT) reported that a buyer had been located for $2.9 billion of its sub-prime loans. Thinking over the day's market reaction, it appears that many market participants were more concerned about whether the sub-prime woes would cause any meltdown in the financials than they were about any inflation worries. The climb today had the feel of a relief rally in which too many bears had been caught short.

WB's earnings beat expectations, too, also adding a little balm to those worries about the performance of financials. WB does not have a lot of exposure to sub-prime loans.

MAT's profit declined when compared to year-ago levels, but that decline was due in part at least to a tax benefit it had received a year ago, and it beat expectations for this quarter. LLY took charges related to an acquisition, but if those were excluded, the company beat expectations, too.

In addition to those earnings reports, other company-related news help give equities that early morning sendoff. Procter & Gamble (PG) raised its dividend to $0.35 a share from $0.31 a share, to be paid on May 15 to shareholders of record on April 27. Other company-related news came from THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, reporting that Sallie Mae or SLM Corp. would be sold and taken private by a buyout group. Shares would be bought at $60.00 a share, and "bought" proved to be the operative word at the open for this stock. Other M&A news this morning included Quest Diagnostic's agreement to buy Ameripath.

In addition to this news, a number of pharmaceuticals made announcements during the day. Amgen (AMGN) announced results from a Phase III study of its Aranesp drug for cancer patients with anemia. The study produced disappointing results, and the drug does not receive approval by the FDA or EMEA for use in those patients. Inclone (IMCL) announced better results from its Phase III study of Erbitux in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. The median time of survival without a progression of the disease improved in more than half the patients when compared to another drug regimen that included Erbitux with a second drug. EZ EM (EZEM) received FDA clearance for its injector system.

After-hours developments included a halt in trading of Universal Forest Products (UFPI) after the company reported earnings that showed the impact of a softening housing market. Black & Decker (BDK) raised its earnings-per-share forecast, however, so maybe drills are selling better than lumber.

Tomorrow's Economic and Earnings Releases

Tomorrow's economic calendar is full. At 8:30, the important March Consumer Price Index, the CPI, will be released. This number tells the FOMC whether higher prices are filtering through to the consumer, increasing inflation pressures. Of course, those of us living real lives know that both food and fuel costs impact us, but it will be the non-fuel and food core CPI that is most important to watch. Economists predict that core CPI will rise 0.2 percent, with the prior rise also at 0.2 percent. The headline number is expected to rise 0.6-0.7 percent, considerably hotter than the previous 0.4 percent rise. For some time, markets have ignored the potential for credit to tighten again if the FOMC is forced to hike rates, with signs of economic growth just encouraging enough to offset those worries, but that equilibrium may not always be maintained.

In the same time slot, March's Housing Starts and Building Permits will be released. These numbers have also sometimes proven market moving in a climate in which some worry that housing-sector weakness may spill over into other parts of the economy. Housing Starts are expected to number 1.495 million-1.5 million, down slightly from February's number, and building permits, about 1.52 million, also slightly below February's number. The after-hours announcements from UFPI prove that there has been some spillover.

March's Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization follow at 9:15. Those can also prove market moving, although some aspects are volatile and not trustworthy, and others are often quite predictable. Companies reporting earnings tomorrow include INTC, with the time of that report not scheduled at the time I was checking the calendar. Other reporting companies include IBM, JNJ, WM, WFC and YHOO. Financials such as WM may be particularly important as market watchers want continued reassurance from the financial sector. It will be a big day for reporting companies.

What about Tomorrow?

The normal expectation for the day following a big-range day such as today is a consolidation day or a reversal day. Let's look for any evidence that might tell us if one of those two is likely for tomorrow.

Last Thursday I had said that although some gains were to be expected Friday morning since the indices had produced bullish-engulfing candles in many instances, I didn't see evidence that Friday's gains would be big. I guess what you quantify as "big" determines whether you think my outlook for Friday was justified or completely off base.

However, I had also mentioned that "[m]y daily Keltner charts show me that it would be easy to see the SPX reach toward 1468; the Dow, 12789; and the Nasdaq, 2516." I didn't expect those to be reached Friday, and they weren't, but I honestly didn't expect them to be reached today, either. I wasn't sure they remained viable targets. They were, obviously. The SPX topped 1,468 by less than a point, and the Nasdaq topped its target by less than three points. The Dow didn't quite reach its upside target.

I had advised subscribers who wanted to determine whether the uptrend in place last week was continuing on Friday to use the 15-minute 9-ema as a guide. Continued bounces from that average would mean that the short-term trend remained intact. Sustained closes beneath it, with the 9-ema serving as resistance, would mean that the short-term uptrend had ended. The early-morning decline on Friday temporarily pushed prices beneath 9-ema's on various charts, but prices weren't sustained at that level. Within a couple of 15-minute bars, prices were back above that 9-ema and bouncing from it again. That pattern held through the rest of the day and should have signaled any short-term bears that they were on the wrong side of the tracks.

This morning's spurt higher carried prices far above that average on various indices' charts. It wasn't until about 1:00 this afternoon, the same time the Wells Fargo/NAHB housing market index was released, that the SPX's sideways/sideways down move off the day's high brought it in contact again with that average that had been rising beneath prices all day, playing catchup. Crude costs had bounced off the morning low, too, so it was difficult to gauge whether it was the housing index, the rising crude costs or simply a midday rest that prompted the retesting of that average. Crude closed the regular session up $0.04 at $63.67.

However, Friday morning's decline and bounce also revealed that all most indices did on Friday's early decline was to drop back to the 30-minute 9-ema and start bouncing from that average, so it's the 30-minute charts that I watched today for any signs of short-term trend reversal. It's those charts that will be displayed below.

Annotated 30-Minute Chart of the SPX:

Unless the SPX plunges sharply, it's likely to find at least temporary support when two Keltner lines converge, particularly when they're as important as the lines now beginning to converge near 1458-1460. These signify breakout levels. Even if the SPX should begin producing 30-minute closes beneath the 9-ema, do expect a bounce attempt at least at the then-current levels of these Keltner lines (they'll move a little in the direction of price movement) unless the SPX is plunging.

Annotated 30-Minute Chart of the Dow:

The same pattern holds. Unless the Dow plunges, expect any test of the breakout level to produce at least a bounce attempt, whether it's successful or not.

Annotated 30-Minute Chart of the Nasdaq:

Annotated 30-Minute Chart of the Russell 2000:

Tomorrow's CPI could well be a market-moving event. If anything could send the indices plunging or soaring, the CPI could do it. I just can't see the indices soaring after such strong gains, at least not until after some sideways consolidation. I can see a need to pull back, so a plunge remains possible although nothing yet says it's probable. Any reaction to the CPI must be weighed in with bullish enthusiasm and option-expiration-related buying or selling. Ahead of that number, I can't say which it will be, but I don't have to do so. You can put those 30-minute 9-ema's on your chart and watch for yourself. If you're in bullish positions, you want to see indices continue to print 30-minute closes above those 9-ema's.

You want-to-be bears have a more difficult task. You want to see three things: 30-minute closes beneath those 9-ema's, thirty-minute closes beneath the breakout level, and a retest of the breakout level with it holding as resistance. If tomorrow is to be a consolidation day and you enter, thinking that your conditions have been met, you might find that's all the movement that's going to occur for that day or for the rest of the week as indices consolidate sideways. The SPX for many months had a rather reliable pattern of strong gains, then four to six days or so of sideways/sideways-up consolidation, and that pattern, if reinstituted, could carry us through the end of option-expiration week with consolidation days. If tomorrow is going to produce a deep pullback, it may occur with little warning without providing you with all these handy-dandy little confirmations.

If you're tempted to entire a bearish play, you've had stark evidence today of what can happen when bullish momentum is strong. Keep losses manageable.

Market experience confirms that either consolidation or a pullback are more likely tomorrow, but I still don't quite feel confident that charts have settled down into "the" pattern after the disorganization that began in late February. I remember warning then that the pattern could broaden, which would mean that we would see new highs on at least some indices, so I'm withholding judgment still. This should not be considered advice to adopt a bearish stance. Although last week's chart had taken on a slightly more bearish cast, I said then that those formations could as easily morph into something more bullish as had all the previous formations the last few months morphed from one thing to another. I just don't know right now.

Although the shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University today was not a market-related phenomenon and so was not discussed as part of this Wrap, the entire OptionInvestor.com staff sends condolences to friends and family of those impacted.

New Plays

New Option Plays

Call Options Plays
Put Options Plays
Strangle Options Plays
None None None

New Calls

None today.

New Puts

None today.

New Strangles

None today.

Play Updates

In Play Updates and Reviews

Call Updates

Advance Auto Parts - AAP - cls: 40.25 chg: +0.60 stop: 37.95

The markets turned in a broad-based rally with the S&P 500 hitting new seven-year highs. Shares of AAP participated in the rally with a 1.5% gain albeit on below average volume. While the lack of volume concerns us the move today, back above $40.00, does look like another entry point to buy calls. Our target is the $44.50-45.00 range. We do not want to hold over the mid-May earnings report. FYI: The P&F chart points to a $48 target.

Picked on April 11 at $ 40.05
Change since picked: + 0.20
Earnings Date 05/17/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 854 thousand


Apple Inc. - AAPL - cls: 91.43 chg: +1.19 stop: 87.45

A bullish market is just what AAPL needed to keep shares from cracking under support at the $90.00 level. The stock rebounded with a 1.3% gain and the bounce from the $90 region is looking like a new entry point for bullish positions. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stop loss toward $90.00 (again). Our target is the $97.50-100.00 range. We do not want to hold over the April 25th earnings report.

Picked on March 19 at $ 91.01
Change since picked: + 0.42
Earnings Date 04/25/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 35 million


Amgen - AMGN - cls: 59.65 change: +0.62 stop: 55.74

An early morning upgrade for AMGN helped launch the stock to gap open higher on Monday. Unfortunately, shares struggled to maintain their gains especially after a negative report on AMGN's Aranesp drug. AMGN closed up 1% but closed off its highs and the move today might be a short-term failed rally near $60.00. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. If you are looking for a new entry point we'd watch for a dip back towards $58.00, which might be short-term support. Our target is the $62.40-62.50 range, which is very close to the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of the January-April decline. We do not want to hold over the earnings report so we plan to exit at the closing bell on April 23rd if AMGN hasn't hit our target by then.

Picked on April 12 at $ 57.64
Change since picked: + 2.01
Earnings Date 04/23/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 16.6 million


Allegheny Tech. - ATI - cls: 116.13 chg: +2.37 stop: 109.85*new*

Steel stock ATI continues to show relative strength. The stock rallied to another new all-time high with today's 2% gain. Shares are quickly approaching our target in the $117.00-120.00 range. The high today was $116.68. More conservative traders may want to consider taking some money off the table right now with an early exit. We're are raising our stop loss to $109.85. FYI: The P&F chart points to a $123 target. We do not want to hold over the late April earnings report.

Picked on April 03 at $110.26
Change since picked: + 5.87
Earnings Date 04/25/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.6 million


Boeing - BA - close: 90.31 change: -0.72 stop: 89.35

Uh-oh! The market turns in a big rally and the S&P 500 hits new multi-year highs but shares of BA fail to participate. That's not a good sign for the bulls. Fortunately, at this time we are still on the sidelines. BA remains under resistance near $92.00 and we're waiting for a breakout to open positions. Our suggested trigger to buy calls is at $92.35. If triggered our target is the $97.50-100.00 range. More aggressive traders might want to consider jumping the gun if BA can trade over short-term resistance near $91.00.

Picked on April xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 04/25/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.1 million


Boston Properties - BXP - cls: 115.87 chg: -0.45 stop: 114.49

BXP's relative weakness on a broad market rally like today is not a positive sign. Yet if you look at the intraday chart it still looks like shares are trying to bottom. Aggressive traders might want to speculate on positions now with a tight stop. We're sticking to our plan for now, which is to wait for a breakout over $120.00 with a trigger to buy calls at $120.75. Unfortunately, we're running out of time. If BXP doesn't show some strength soon we'll drop it. We do not want to hold over the April 24th earnings report.

Picked on April xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 04/24/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.3 million


Cigna - CI - close: 151.36 chg: +2.43 stop: 144.95 *new*

CI turned in another strong session following Friday's rally. Today's gain was significant given the breakout past potential round-number resistance at the $150.00 mark. We are adjusting our stop loss to $144.95. Our target is the $154.50-155.00 range. Don't forget that CI could see some volatility following earnings from rival UNH on April 19th before the market open that day. We do not want to hold over CI's earnings report in early May.

Picked on April 05 at $147.75
Change since picked: + 3.61
Earnings Date 05/02/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 910 thousand


Seacor - CKH - cls: 98.71 chg: -0.56 stop: 96.49

Traders might want to turn more defensive on CKH. Monday marked another day or relative weakness in the stock price. The larger pattern of higher lows is still bullish but short-term momentum is beginning to struggle. We would wait for a bounce near $98.00 or another high over $100.22 before considering new positions. We want to caution traders again that this is probably an aggressive entry point with clear overhead resistance in the $102.50-103.25 range. It would not surprise us to see CKH fail on its first try to breakout past $103. Our target is the $107.00-110.00 range. The P&F chart points to a $115 target. We do not want to hold over the late April or early May earnings report.

Picked on April 12 at $100.15
Change since picked: - 1.44
Earnings Date 04/30/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 227 thousand


Core Labs - CLB - cls: 89.27 chg: +0.96 stop: 83.45

Traders bought the dip in CLB again and shares closed up over 1% but the stock is still fighting with resistance at the $90.00 level. We remain bullish on CLB but we're not suggesting new plays with the stock right under round-number resistance at $90.00. Our target is the $92.00 level. We plan to exit ahead of the April 23rd earnings report.

Picked on April 08 at $ 87.25
Change since picked: + 2.02
Earnings Date 04/23/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 275 thousand


Chicago Merc.Exc. - CME - cls: 558.74 chg: +7.25 stop: 544.75

An early rally in CME today pushed the stock through significant resistance at its three-month trendline of lower highs. Shares traded to an intraday high of $565.00 before paring its gains. We were suggesting a trigger to buy calls at $557.50 so the play is now open. If you missed the entry point this morning then readers can choose to buy at current levels or look for a dip toward what should be short-term support near $555.00. Our short-term target is $574.00-575.00. If we had more time we could aim for the January highs. Remember, this is a high-risk play and we don't have a lot of time but if the market moves higher then CME could really run. One of the biggest challenges for the bulls would occur if investors suddenly decided to wait and see ahead of CME's earnings report and the stock just bounced around sideways.

Picked on April 16 at $557.50
Change since picked: + 1.24
Earnings Date 04/24/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 733 thousand


ConocoPhillips - COP - cls: 70.60 chg: +0.06 stop: 66.19

Crude oil futures didn't move much on Monday and oil stocks seemed to take a backseat to the widespread rally in the rest of the market. Shares of COP posted a very minor gain. The only significant event today was another bounce from the $70 region (actually 69.86). More conservative traders might want to think about doing some profit taking right here. We're aiming for the $74.00-75.00 range in COP. We do not want to hold over the late April earnings report.

Picked on March 20 at $ 66.31
Change since picked: + 4.29
Earnings Date 04/25/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 12.1 million


HESS Corp. - HES - cls: 58.00 chg: +0.13 stop: 54.75

Traders bought the dip in HES as well but overall the oil stocks lagged the rest of the market. We don't see any changes from our weekend comments on HES. We are suggesting call positions in the $56.00-59.00 range. There is potential round-number, psychological resistance near $60.00 but our target is the $62.00-63.00 range. We do not want to hold over HES' earnings report coming up on April 25th before the market open. That means we plan to exit on the 24th at the closing bell.

Picked on April 15 at $ 57.87
Change since picked: + 0.13
Earnings Date 04/25/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.0 million


Joy Global - JOYG - cls: 47.00 chg: +0.81 stop: 43.89

JOYG displayed some relative strength on Monday. The stock opened higher and then consolidated sideways throughout the rest of the session. Shares ended up 1.75% We noticed that volume came in pretty low, which is normally a warning sign for the bulls. More conservative traders might want to tighten their stops a bit. There is potential resistance near $47.00 at the bottom of its February gap down. However, we are suggesting two targets. Our conservative target is $49.85-50.00. Our aggressive target is the $52.25-55.00 range.

Picked on April 12 at $ 46.48
Change since picked: + 0.52
Earnings Date 05/30/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.5 million


McKesson Corp. - MCK - cls: 59.91 chg: +0.34 stop: 57.99

MCK continued to rally on Monday following Friday's breakout from its trading range. Overall the pattern remains bullish but we're sticking to our plan, which is to wait for a breakout over round-number resistance at $60.00. Our suggested trigger to buy calls is at $60.15. If triggered at $60.15 our target will be the $64.00-65.00 range.

Picked on April xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 05/07/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.7 million


Nucor - NUE - cls: 67.48 chg: +0.69 stop: 65.74

Monday's rebound in NUE looks like a new entry point to buy calls. However, we're almost out of time and we're not suggesting new positions. We want to exit on Wednesday, April 18th at the closing bell to avoid earnings on the 19th. Our target is the $72.50-75.00 range.

Picked on April 09 at $ 67.55
Change since picked: - 0.07
Earnings Date 04/19/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.8 million


TEREX - TEX - close: 76.33 chg: +2.38 stop: 69.89

TEX is off to a strong start. The widespread market rally powered the already bullish moves in TEX. Shares surged to a 3.2% gain on Monday. We do not want to hold over the April 25th earnings report. Our target is the $79-80.00 range.

Picked on April 15 at $ 73.95
Change since picked: + 2.38
Earnings Date 04/25/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.4 million


Wynn Resorts - WYNN - cls: 102.00 chg: -0.44 stop: 97.49

We are surprised that WYNN under performed the broader market on Monday. The stock really looks poised to mover higher but traders sold the initial rally this morning and again just before noon today. It might pay off to wait for a dip or a bounce near the $100 level before initiating positions. We plan to exit ahead of the early May earnings report. Therefore we are setting our target in the $108.00-110.00 range. More conservative traders may want to exit early near the late February highs around $106.60.

Picked on April 15 at $102.44
Change since picked: - 0.44
Earnings Date 05/05/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.4 million

Put Updates

F5 Networks - FFIV - cls: 67.24 chg: +0.38 stop: 70.55

FFIV is still under performing the markets but given the market strength the last couple of days we would not suggest new bearish positions at this time. Our target is still the $60.50-60.00 range but more conservative traders may want to exit near the 200-dma around $62.50. Don't forget that we want to exit ahead of earnings.

Picked on April 01 at $ 66.68
Change since picked: + 0.56
Earnings Date 04/25/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.0 million


MDC Holdings - MDC - cls: 49.77 chg: +0.52 stop: 50.05

There is no change from our previous comments on MDC. The stock is stuck in the $48.00-50.00 trading range. It is starting to look like it wants to breakout higher. Nimble traders may want to switch directions and buy calls if MDC can trade over $50.25 or $50.50 - just watch out for potential technical resistance at the 50-dma overhead. We are waiting for a breakdown under $48.00. Our suggested trigger to buy puts is actually at $46.95, which is under the March low. If triggered at $46.95, our target is the $41.00-40.00 range. If MDC closes over $50.00 we'll drop it as a bearish candidate. Please note that we do not want to hold over the late April earnings report.

Picked on April xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 04/26/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 870 thousand

Strangle Updates


Dropped Calls


Dropped Puts


Dropped Strangles


Today's Newsletter Notes: Market Wrap by Linda Piazza and all other plays and content by the Option Investor staff.


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