Closed Plays


None. No closed plays this week.


Play Updates


Arch Coal Inc. - ACI - close: 24.32 change: +0.54

M&A in the coal sector and rising prices for coal this past week helped fuel gains for stocks in this industry. ACI is back above the $24.00 level, which has been resistance in the past. I am raising our stop loss to $19.85.

Our exit strategy hasn't changed. Our final target is $34.75.

May 14th, 2009 - entry price on ACI @ 16.00, option @ 2.40
symbol: OSE-AF, 2011 JAN $30 LEAP call - current bid/ask $1.75/1.85
-stop loss on ACI @ 19.85 *new*

--2nd Entry--
Feb 13th, 2010 - entry price on ACI @ 21.65, option @ 4.40
symbol: YEP1221A25 2012 JAN $25 LEAP call - current bid/ask $5.20/5.50
-stop loss on ACI @ 19.85 *new*

Chart of ACI:


Biogen IDEC - BIIB - close: 57.21 change: +0.55

Biotech stocks were huge winners last week with the BTK biotech index surging more than 12% to new multi-year highs. Unfortunately BIIB lagged behind its peers with a 4% gain. The trend in BIIB is still bullish. It's probably not too late to buy LEAPS but the risk now is that the biotech sector is short-term overbought and due for a correction. Just because BIIB didn't keep up with the index doesn't mean it won't dip with the index. You might get a better entry point if you wait for a pull back closer to $55.00. Our first target to take profits is at $64.90.

Feb 19th, 2010 - entry price on BIIB @ 56.60, option @ 4.60
symbol: OIY1122A60 2011 JAN $60 LEAP call - current bid/ask $4.30/4.60
-stop loss on BIIB @ 51.85

Chart of BIIB:


Berkshire Hathaway Inc. - BRK.B - $83.36 +0.68

It was another strong week for BRK.B with the stock pushing past resistance near $80.00 to close at new 52-week highs. Our 2011 Jan $80 calls have almost doubled in a month's time. More conservative traders may want to go ahead and take some money off the table now. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Please note our new stop loss at $69.00.

Our first target is $90.00. Our second target is $99.50

Feb 6th, 2010 - entry price on BRK.B @ 73.57, option @ 4.80
symbol: 2011 JAN $80 XPB1122A80 LEAP call - current bid/ask $8.40/8.80
-stop loss on BRK.B @ 69.00 *new*

Feb 6th, 2010 - entry price on BRK.B @ 73.57, option @ 6.50
symbol: 2012 JAN $85 WDW1221A85 LEAP call - current bid/ask $9.00/9.90
-stop loss on BRK.B @ 69.00 *new*

Chart of BRK.B:


BorgWarner Inc. - BWA - close: 37.65 change: -0.53

Uh-oh! BWA failed to participate in the market's rally. If you look at the weekly chart the rally has failed two weeks in a row. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Odds are growing that BWA will see a correction back toward the $36-35 zone. I am raising our stop loss to $32.49, which is under the 200-dma. Our first target is $44.50. Our second target is $49.75. FYI: More conservative traders might want to use a stop loss closer to $34.00.
Unfortunately, the bid/ask spread is not a typo. It's really that wide, which is another reason to not open positions.

Feb 17th, 2010 - entry price on BWA @ 37.55, option @ 3.90
symbol: ZWY1122A40 2011 JAN $40 LEAP call - current bid/ask $3.60/6.60
-stop loss on BWA @ 32.49 *new*

Chart of BWA:


Celgene Corp. - CELG - close: 61.91 change: +0.92

CELG was added to our watch list a week ago. The big rally in biotech last week helped CELG breakout to new 52-week highs. Shares also hit our trigger to buy LEAPS at $60.75 last Monday. We're starting with a stop loss at $54.75 but more conservative traders may want to use a tighter stop loss. Broken resistance near $60 should offer a little support. I do see some resistance near $66.00 on the long-term chart. Our target is the $74.00 level. I am suggesting the 2011 Jan. $65 calls but readers may want to buy the 2012 calls.

Mar 1st, 2010 - entry price on CELG @ 60.75, option @ 5.40
symbol: VCS1122A65 2011 JAN $65 LEAP call - current bid/ask $5.60/5.80
-stop loss on CELG @ 54.75

Chart of CELG:


Chesapeake Energy Corp. - CHK - close: 26.31 change: +0.12

Crude oil might be bouncing but natural gas prices have sunk to new multi-year lows. It's not too surprising to see shares of CHK stalling. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. More nimble traders might consider buying a dip or bounce near the rising 200-dma. I am raising the stop loss to $21.75 on CHK. Our long-term target is $40.00.

Oct 30th, 2009 - entry price on CHK @ 24.00, option @ 4.70
2nd entry Feb. 6th, 2009 - entry on CHK @ 24.52, option @ 3.80
symbol: VEC-AE, JAN 2011 $25 LEAP call - current bid/ask $4.15/4.25
-stop loss on CHK @ 21.75 *new*

Chart of CHK:


Consol Energy Inc. - CNX - close: 55.05 change: +2.00

The rally in coal stocks produced a big move in CNX with shares rising about 10% last week. The stock is now challenging resistance near the $55 level. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Please note our new stop at $43.45, which is just under the simple 200-dma.

CNX hit our first target back in September. Currently the plan is to sell another portion of our position at $58.50. Our third and final target is $64.90.

Sep 1st, 2009 - entry price on CNX @ 36.50, option @ 7.80(estimate)
symbol: VTL-AH, 2011 JAN $40 LEAP call - current bid/ask $17.20/17.90
-stop loss on CNX @ 43.45 *new*

1st Target hit 09/16/09 @ 48.50, option price $15.40 (+97%)

Chart of CNX


Deluxe Corp. - DLX - close: 19.25 change: -0.19

I've got good news and bad news on DLX. The good news is that shares rallied to new 52-week highs last week and hit our trigger to buy LEAPS at $19.10. The bad news is that the rally reversed at the $20.00 level on Friday. I cautioned readers that $20 could be a challenge and it's one of the reasons this was labeled an aggressive trade. Friday's session does look like a short-term bearish reversal. It looks like the weakness may have been due to an analyst downgrade on Friday. I would wait on new positions. DLX might dip toward its trendline of higher lows near the $18 area. A bounce near $18 would be a better entry point.

We'll start with a stop loss at $16.75. Our target is $24.75.

Mar 1st, 2010 - entry price on DLX @ 19.10, option @ 1.10
symbol: DLX1016J20 2010 OCT $20 call - current bid/ask $1.35/1.70
-stop loss on DLX @ 16.75

Chart of DLX:


EMR $48.49 +0.54 -- Emerson Electric Co.

I am a little disappointed that EMR did not participate more strongly in the market's rally last week but shares did hit new relative highs. The $50.00 level remains possible resistance. Our second and final target is still $54.50. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Sept. 8th, 2009 - entry price on EMR @ 38.00, option @ $4.50
symbol: VHH-AH, 2011 JAN $40 call - current bid/ask $9.50/10.00
-stop loss on EMR @ 41.90

02/18/10 1st Target hit @ 47.50, option @ $8.80 (+95.5%)

Chart of EMR:


Forest Oil Corp. - FST - close: 28.32 change: +0.66

Oil stocks delivered strong performances last week. FST was not exception with a decent gain. Yet shares of FST seem to be struggling a little bit with the January 2010 highs near $28.75. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Our long-term target is $37.50.

Oct 15th, 2009 - entry price on FST @ 23.85, option @ 7.40
symbol: OJG-AD, 2011 $20 LEAP call - current bid/ask $9.60/10.10
-stop loss on FST @ 21.75

Chart of FST:


Intel Corp. - INTC - close: 20.79 change: +0.26

INTC under performed the rest of the market and continues to trade sideways. Shares have been stuck in a new trading range for 2 1/2 weeks. The only positive was the bounce from new short-term support near $20.25. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Our long-term target is the $24-26 zone.

FYI: Shares of Intel don't move very fast. Readers might want to consider turning this play into a calendar or diagonal spread to further maximize your gains.

June 13th, 2009 - entry price on INTC @ 16.31, option @ 1.36
symbol: VNL-AD, 2011 LEAP $20 call - current bid/ask $2.35/2.39
-stop loss on INTC @ 17.90.

Chart of INTC:


Mosaic Co. -MOS - close: $61.60 change: +1.17

MOS' performance last week was a little disappointing. It did manage a gain but most of it happened on last Tuesday's gap higher. Shares spent the rest of the week struggling with resistance near $62.00. I am still concerned that MOS could be forming the right shoulder to a bearish head-and-shoulders pattern. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Please note our new stop loss at $51.90. Our long-term target is the $90-100 zone. (Readers might want to consider the 2012 LEAPS too).

NOTE: In 2009 MOS issued a special cash dividend of $1.30 per share payable back on December 3rd, 2009. The CBOE issued a new LEAPS symbol to account for the dividend. The old 2011 LEAPS have a root symbol of ZHX. The LEAPS we want to use are the ZXW root symbols.

Jan 28th, 2010 - entry price on MOS @ 56.00, option @ 6.10
symbol: ZXW-AM, 2011 LEAP $65 call - current bid/ask $8.10/8.60
-stop loss on MOS @ 51.90 *new*

Chart of MOS:


Manitowoc Inc. - MTW - close: 12.71 change: +0.26

MTW delivered a strong week but the rally has stalled near its January highs. More conservative traders may want to consider a tighter stop loss. A breakout over $13.00 would certainly be bullish but I suspect the January 2010 highs could be a challenge to break. Our long-term target is $17.00.

Oct 30th, 2009 - entry price on MTW @ 9.10, option @ 2.61
symbol: VMT-AB, 2011 JAN $10 call - current bid/ask $3.80/4.00
-stop loss on MWT @ 9.45

01/18/10 Sell Half! MTW @ 13.70, option at $4.80 bid (+83.9%)

- or -

Oct. 30th 2009 - entry price on MTW (the stock) @ 9.10
- stop loss on MTW @ 9.45

01/18/10 Sell Half! MTW @ 13.70 (+50.5%)

Chart of MTW:


Oracle Corp. - ORCL - close: 24.95 change: +0.19

ORCL has spent the last two weeks consolidation sideways under resistance at the $25.00 level. On a positive note it does look like the stock is poised to breakout higher soon. Right now our stop loss is at $21.40 but I'm tempted to raise it toward the February lows. Our long-term target is $29.75. FYI: Earnings are expected at the end of March. Readers may want to wait until after the earnings report before considering new positions.

FYI: Shares of ORCL don't move very fast. Readers might want to consider turning this play into a calendar or diagonal spread to further maximize your gains.

Dec. 18th, 2009 - entry price on ORCL @ 24.05, option @ 2.55
symbol: VOC-AE, 2011 LEAP $25 call - current bid/ask $2.33/2.37
-stop loss on ORCL @ 21.40.

Chart of ORCL:


PEPSICO Inc. - PEP - close: 64.37 change: +0.26

PEP continues to march higher and the rally has stalled at its 2009 highs from early December. On a short-term basis the stock looks a little overbought and due for a pull back. Yet if shares pull back now it would look like a possible (bearish) double top under $65.00. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Hopefully the scenario that plays out is PEP pulls back toward short-term support near $63.00 and then rallies through $65.00 over the next few weeks. Please note our new stop loss at $57.40.

It looks like our protective March put was not needed and will expire worthless. Our exit target for the 2011 January $60 LEAP is $69.90.

July 7th, 2009 - entry price on PEP @ 57.25, option @ $4.50(estimate)
symbol: VP-AL, 2011 $60.00 LEAP call - current bid/ask $6.60/6.70
-stop loss on PEP at $57.40 *new*

Temporary protective put:
Jan. 23rd, 2009 - entry price on PEP @ 60.39, option @ 0.50
symbol: PEP-OK March $55 put - current bid/ask $0.03/0.05

Chart of PEP:


Potash Corp. - POT - close: $116.81 change: +1.89

The action in POT mirrored that of MOS with a rally Monday and Tuesday and a more of a sideways move the rest of the week. POT had a better performance with a string of new relative (intraday) highs. The sector is benefitting from positive analysts comments. More conservative traders may want to consider upping their stop loss toward the January lows near $99. Our long-term target is $160 or higher.

Jan. 28th, 2010 - entry price on POT @ 101.00, option @ 11.75
symbol: VPT-AB, 2011 LEAP $110 call - current bid/ask $20.05/20.20
-stop loss on POT @ 94.75

Chart of ORCL:


PartnerRe Ltd. - PRE - close: 78.57 change: -0.13

PRE's out performance in February has turned to under performance in March. Shares failed to rally with the rest of the market last week although we really can't fault it too much since the stock was overbought and due for a rest. Still it can be a little frustrating to see the IUX insurance index surge to new multi-year highs and PRE doesn't join in. If you're looking for an entry point I would prefer to buy LEAPS on a dip or a bounce in the $76-76 zone, which as previous resistance should be support.

Our first target is $84.90. Our second, longer-term target is $97.50.

Feb. 13th, 2010 - entry price on PRE @ 76.28, option @ 2.70
symbol: PRE1021H80, 2010 AUG $80 call - current bid/ask $3.10/3.50
-stop loss on PRE @ 69.75

Chart of PRE:


Reynolds American Inc. - RAI - close: 54.74 change: +0.59

It looks like the rally is back on track with RAI setting a new 52-week closing high on Friday. Short-term the stock is a little overbought but the trend is definitely higher. Currently our final target is $57.50 but I am seriously tempted to raise our target toward $60 or higher.

July 24th, 2009 - entry price on RAI @ 42.50, option @ $4.50(estimate)
symbol: OWO-AH, 2011 JAN $40.00 LEAP call - current bid/ask $14.00/15.00
-stop loss on RAI at $49.75

Sold Half on 10/19 @ 49.50, option @ $8.90 (+97%)

Chart of RAI:


UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury Bond ProShares - TBT - cls: 48.13 chg: +1.15

I don't see too many changes from my prior comments. The selling paused at its February lows and shares traded sideways for a few days. Friday's rebound higher was encouraging but I hesitate to launch new positions. I'm suggesting readers wait for a close over $51.50 before considering new LEAPS positions.

Our first long-term target is $59.75. Our second target is $67.50.

FYI: The TBT is an exchange traded fund (ETF) that tries to deliver twice the inverse performance of the Barclays Capital 20+ Year U.S. Treasury index.

Jan. 09th, 2010 - entry price on TBT @ 50.63, option @ 4.90
symbol: XRJ-AC, JAN 2011 $55 LEAP call - current bid/ask $2.43/2.55
-stop loss on TBT @ 45.90

Jan. 09th, 2010 - entry price on TBT @ 50.63, option @ 7.90
symbol: YHT-AH, JAN 2012 $60 LEAP call - current bid/ask $4.75/5.40
-stop loss on TBT @ 45.90

Chart of TBT


Titanium Metals - TIE - close: 13.74 change: +0.58

Resource stocks are back in rally mode again. Positive comments out of China about their rate of growth added fuel to the fire. A positive earnings report on March 1st didn't hurt either. The company beat both the earnings and revenue estimates. Shares of TIE surged sharply and broke through resistance near the $12.50 level. I suggested an alternative entry point to buy calls on a move over $12.50. Please note that I'm raising our stop loss to $10.45, which is just under the February 2010 low. On a short-term basis the stock is overbought. Look for a dip back toward $13.00-12.50 as short-term support.

There is some resistance near $15.00 but our long-term target is $19.75.

Feb. 20th, 2010 - entry price on TIE @ 12.06, option @ 1.40
symbol: VWN1122A15, 2011 JAN $15 LEAP call - current bid/ask $1.90/2.00
-stop loss on TIE @ 10.45 *new*

Feb. 20th, 2010 - entry price on TIE @ 12.06, option @ 2.60
symbol: WWN1221A15, 2012 JAN $15 LEAP call - current bid/ask $3.10/3.30
-stop loss on TIE @ 10.45

Chart of TIE:


iShares 20+Yr Bond ETF - TLT - close: 90.27 change: -1.20

Thus far the trend of lower highs is still in place. The rally stalled near $92 last week. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. A close under $88 might change my mind. Our first target is $81.00.

FYI: The TLT is an exchange traded fund that tries to mimic the performance of the Barclays Capital U.S. 20+Year Treasury Bond Index.

Jan. 09th, 2010 - entry price on TLT @ 89.29, option @ 6.40
symbol: VJL-MG, JAN 2011 $85 LEAP put - current bid/ask $3.80/3.95
-stop loss on TLT @ 94.15

Jan. 09th, 2010 - entry price on TLT @ 89.29, option @ 8.90
symbol: YLI-MB, JAN 2012 $80 LEAP put - current bid/ask $6.20/6.50
-stop loss on TLT @ 94.15

Chart of TLT


UnitedHealth Group Inc. - UNH - close: 33.74 change: +0.79

The healthcare sector index is on the rebound after a few weeks of consolidating sideways. UNH may be lagging it a little bit but the trend is the same. Traders bought the dip on Thursday and shares look poised to move higher. It is definitely starting to look like the dip to $30 may not happen.

The plan was to use small positions to limit our risk. Our long-term target is $42.50.

Dec 16th, 2009 - entry price on UNH @ 31.55, option @ 3.80
symbol: VUH-AG, 2011 JAN $35 LEAP call - current bid/ask $3.65/3.75
-stop loss on UNH @ 28.95

Chart of UNH:


VICOR Corp. - VICR - close: 10.23 change: -0.05

The first week of March was a winner for VICR with a 7.5% rally and a breakout past resistance at $10.00 to close at new 52-week highs. I am raising our stop loss to $7.95, which is just under the February low. More conservative traders may want to use a slightly higher stop loss. If you were waiting for a breakout over $10.00 as your entry point you got it.

FYI: It looks like VICR is still due to report earnings on March 8th or 9th (I can't find a confirmed date). Shares could see a lot of volatility following the announcement.

Our long-term target is the $13.50-14.00 zone (one reason I prefer the stock over the option).

Dec 26th, 2009 - entry price on VICR@ 9.30, option @ 1.40
symbol: VQV-GB, 2010 JUL $10 call - current bid/ask $0.90/1.70
-stop loss on VICR @ 7.95 *new*

--2nd Entry Point-- Feb 6th, 2009 - entry price on VICR @ 8.38, option @ 0.70
symbol: VQV-GB, 2010 JUL $10 call - current bid/ask $0.90/1.70
-stop loss on VICR @ 7.95 *new*

- or -

Dec. 26th 2009 - entry price on VICR (the stock) @ 9.30
-stop loss on VICR @ 7.45

Chart of VICR: