Closed Plays


None. No closed plays this week


Play Updates


Arch Coal Inc. - ACI - close: 33.50

02/05 update: ACI's bounce from a week ago failed at the $35 level and shares have drifted back to the 50-dma. A recent upgrade for the stock failed to have much impact. I'm starting to wonder if ACI will test the $30 area again. Wait for a dip near $30 or $28 before considering new long-term bullish positions.

Our long-term target is $39.75. More aggressive traders could aim a lot higher, especially if you're holding the 2013 calls.

- Current Positions -
Nov 22, 2010 - entry price on ACI @ 30.15, option @ 3.90
symbol: ACI1221A35 2012 JAN $35 call - current bid/ask $ 4.50/ 4.65

- or -

Nov 22, 2010 - entry price on ACI @ 30.15, option @ 5.15
symbol: ACI1319A35 2013 JAN $35 call - current bid/ask $ 6.85/ 7.30

01/22/11 New stop loss @ 27.75
01/15/11 New stop loss @ 28.90
01/01/11 new stop loss @ 29.75
12/25/10 New stop loss @ 28.75
11/22/10 Play opened. ACI @ $30.15

Chart of ACI:

Current Target: $39.75
Current Stop loss: 28.90
Play Entered on: 11/22/10
Originally listed in the New Plays 11/20/10


Akamai Technology - AKAM - close: 47.88

02/05 update: This could be a very volatile week as AKAM reports earnings on February 9th, after the closing bell. Analysts are expecting a profit of 38 cents a share. The stock has been stuck between the $47 level and overhead resistance near its 50-dma and the $49.50-50.00 area. Overall the trend has taken on a more bearish tone, which is why a put a couple of weeks ago.

If AKAM breaks through the 200-dma it could herald a much deeper correction. I am repeating my previous comments that more conservative traders may want to exit bullish positions early right now or at least scale back on the size of your positions. I am not suggesting new trades at this time.

Previous Comments:
We have already taken profits on our 2011 calls. That leaves the 2012 calls. FYI: AKAM has seen some takeover chatter in the last several months.

- Current Positions -
Oct 06, 2010 - entry price on AKAM @ 45.50, option @ 7.50
symbol: AKAM1221A50 2012 JAN $50 call - current bid/ask $ 6.50/ 6.70

- Third Position -

Dec. 20, 2010 - entry price on AKAM @ 50.49, option @ 5.40
symbol: AKAM1221A60 2012 JAN $60 call - current bid/ask $ 3.20/ 3.40

- Short-Term Put -

Jan. 22, 2011 - entry price on AKAM @ 48.93, option @ 1.15
symbol: AKAM1121Q40 2011 MAY $40 PUT - current bid/ask $ 1.48/ 1.53
(We'll update our entry price on Monday)

01/24/11 May $40 put opened at $1.15
01/22/11 Buy May $40 puts to protect ourselves
12/25/10 AKAM is breaking down. Cautious traders exit early.
12/18/10 New Entry point, AKAM @ $50.87, 2012 Jan. $60 call ask @ $6.35
11/27/10 New stop @ 43.75
10/30/10 Sell the 2011 Jan. calls, option bid @ 5.10 (+78.9%)
10/06/10 Play triggered when AKAM hit $45.50

Chart of AKAM:

Current Target: $69.00
Current Stop loss: 43.75
Play Entered on: 10/06/10
Originally listed on the Watch List 10/02/10


Baidu, Inc. (Baidu.com) - BIDU - close: 117.68

02/05 update: Well it looks like we won't be needing those March puts after all. BIDU reported earnings on the evening of January 31st. The company delivered a profit 4 cents better than expected with strong revenues and management guided higher. The stock reacted by gapping open higher to new all-time highs. I would expect BIDU to fill this gap so it should eventually dip back toward the $110 level, which should act as new support. I am raising our stop loss to $99.00. Currently our final exit target is $129.00.

Our protective March $95 puts are now bidding 35 cents. I would expect them to expire worthless.

Previous Comments:
BIDU is a very volatile stock. This is an aggressive, higher-risk trade. Keep your position size small to limit your risk. We have already taken profits on the 2011 calls.

- Current Positions -
Aug 02, 2010 - entry price on BIDU @ 83.50, option @ 13.00
symbol: BIDU1221A100 2012 JAN $100 call - current bid/ask $27.90/28.25

- BONUS TRADE (short-term puts) -

Jan 22, 2011 - entry price on BIDU @ 105.10 option @ 2.80
symbol: BIDU1119O95 2011 MAR $95 PUT - current bid/ask $ 0.35/ 0.45
(we'll update the entry price for Monday's open)

01/31/11 BIDU reports strong earnings. Stock gaps higher on Feb. 1st
01/24/11 March $95 put opened at $2.80
01/22/11 Buy March $95 put
12/20/10 BIDU spikes down to $94.33 (our stop is $94.00)
10/30/10 Adjusted exit target to $129.00.
10/23/10 New stop loss @ 94.00
10/21/10 BIDU reports strong earnings.
10/02/10 Sell half of 2012 calls, BIDU @ 98.80, option @ 22.30 (+71.5%)
09/25/10 Take Profits on the 2011 calls, BIDU @ 97.83, option @ 14.75 (+84.3%)
09/25/10 New stop @ 79.00

Chart of BIDU:

Current Target: $129.00
Current Stop loss: 99.00
Play Entered on: 08/02/10
Originally listed on the Watch List 07/31/10


Berkshire Hathaway - BRK.B - close: 83.17

02/05 update: BRK.B is consolidating sideways but with a bullish trend of higher lows. If the market cooperates we could see BRK.B breakout past resistance near $84-85 in the next few weeks. I remain somewhat cautious here. The trend has improved but BRK.B has not been a great performer. I would expect the company to report earnings in very late February.

- Current Positions -
Oct 29, 2010 - entry price on BRK.B @ 79.00, option @ 5.00
symbol: BRKB1221A90 2012 JAN $90 call - current bid/ask $ 3.35/ 3.65

01/22/11 2011 January calls expired (-100%)
12/11/10 New stop loss @ 77.75.
11/20/10 New entry point on bounce from 200-dma
11/20/10 New stop @ 75.75
10/29/10 Play triggered on dip at $79.00.

Current Target: $ 99.00
Current Stop loss: 77.75
Play Entered on: 10/29/10
Originally listed on the Watch List 09/11/10


Compania de Minas Buenaventura - BVN - close: 43.91

02/05 update: Mining stocks have rallied this past week. BVN appears to have turned the corner. However, shares failed twice at their 40-dma in the last couple of session. We might see this stock pull back toward $42 and its 200-dma again on a short-term basis. If we see another dip or bounce in the $42-40 I would use it as a new entry point but I would buy September calls.

FYI: I can't find an earnings report for BVN. Up through 2009 BVN would report earnings on March 31st but they seemed to have changed their schedule in 2010. I would expect them to announce earnings in the next few weeks.

Earlier Comments:
I cautioned readers that our entry point at $45 was an aggressive, higher-risk trade. Our plan was to open small (half) positions to limit our risk.

- Current Positions -
Jan 5, 2011 - entry price on BVN @ 45.00, option @ 3.90
symbol: BVN1119F50 2011 JUN $50 call - current bid/ask $ 1.30/ 2.10

01/22: Adjust the stop loss to $38.95
01/05: Play is opened at $45.00 (small positions only)

Current Target: $ 54.75
Current Stop loss: 38.95
Play Entered on: 01/05/11
Originally listed on the Watch List --/--/--


Deere & Co - DE - close: 93.21

02/05 update: It was a bullish week for DE with the stock breaking out from its trading range. I am raising our stop loss from $78.90 to $84.00. More conservative traders will certainly want to consider raising theirs even higher. DE appears to have some support near $88 and $85. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Our final target is $99.00. FYI: DE is due to report earnings on Feb. 16th before the opening bell.

- Current (very small) Positions -
Nov 26, 2010 - entry price on DE @ 75.50, option @ 4.75
symbol: DE1221A90 2012 JAN $90 call - current bid/ask $11.80/11.90

02/05/11 New stop loss @ 84.00
01/15/11 New stop loss @ 78.90, Adjusted second target to $99.00
01/13/11 1st Target Hit $88.00. Option @ $10.00 (+110%)
12/25/10 New stop loss @ 74.80
12/04/10 DE offered another entry point with the move over $77.50
11/26/10 DE hit our trigger @ 75.50

Current Target: $ 88.00, 99.00
Current Stop loss: 84.00
Play Entered on: 11/26/10
Originally listed on the Watch List --/--/--


Walt Disney Co. - DIS - close: 40.71

02/05 update: DIS also delivered a strong week with the stock finally breaking out past key resistance near $40.00. I am raising our stop loss to $35.75. Now broken resistance at $40.00 should offer some short-term support followed by support at $38.00. I am not suggesting new positions at this time since DIS is due to report earnings soon but a dip near $38 could be a new entry point. Remember our first profit target is $43.00. I am adjusting our final target from $46.00 to $49.00.

FYI: Investors should note that DIS is due to report earnings on Feb. 8th after the closing bell. Wall Street expects a profit of 56 cents a share.

- Current Positions -
Oct 27, 2010 - entry price on DIS @ 35.60, option @ 2.23
symbol: DIS1221A40 2012 JAN $40 call - current bid/ask $ 4.15/ 4.25

- or -

Oct 27, 2010 - entry price on DIS @ 35.60, option @ 3.63
symbol: DIS1319A40 2013 JAN $40 call - current bid/ask $ 5.75/ 6.00

02/05/11 New stop loss @ 35.75
01/08/11 New stop loss @ 34.95
01/08/11 Target changed to $43.00 and $46.00
10/27/10 Play opened, DIS opened @ $35.60

Chart of DIS:

Current Target(s): $43.00, 49.00
Current Stop loss: 35.75
Play Entered on: 10/27/10
Originally listed on the Watch List 10/24/10


SPDR Gold ETF - GLD - close: 131.66

02/05 update: Commodities continue to attract buying interest. Gold managed a bounce this past week even as the U.S. dollar saw a flight to safety rebound higher. The GLD could see some resistance soon in the $132-134 zone so I wouldn't be launching new positions right here. If we see a test of the 200-dma or another rebound from the $128.00 level, then I might reconsider adding a new position. Bears could argue we're only seeing an oversold bounce before gold continues lower.

Currently our final long-term bullish target is $149.00. I'm not suggesting new bullish positions at this time.

FYI: Several weeks ago Goldman Sachs raised their 2011 price target on gold to $1,700 an ounce. Another firm raised their 2011 price target to $1,600 an ounce.

- Current Positions -
Aug 6, 2010 - entry price on GLD @ 118.00, option @ 10.75
symbol: GLD1221A130 2012 Jan $130 call - current bid/ask $11.65/12.00

- Short Term Put -

Jan 18, 2011 - entry price on GLD @ 133.63, option @ 1.70
symbol: GLD1116P125 2011 APR $125 PUT - current bid/ask $ 1.39/ 1.43

01/18/11 GLD opened at $133.63. April $125 put opened at $1.70
01/15/11 Added April Puts to protect ourselves from further declines.
01/08/11 Expecting a correction toward $125
11/09/10 Target hit - GLD opened at $138.70, 2011 Mar. Call opened @ $20.00 (+159%)
11/06/10 new stop @ 123.40
10/30/10 New stop @ 121.00. Readers may want to exit ahead of FOMC meeting
10/02/10 Sell half of the 2011 March calls, option @ 12.70 (+64.9%)
10/02/10 New stop $ 118.49
09/25/10 New stop @ 116.45, new target 138.50

Current Target(s): $149.00
Current Stop loss: 123.40
Play Entered on: 08/06/10
Originally listed on the Watch List 06/05/10


Humana Inc. - HUM - close: 60.54

02/05 update: The rally for HUM continues. Yet the sharp pull back from its highs last week near $64 actually looks like a bearish top. HUM is about to report earnings so I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. The $55 level should offer support so a dip or bounce near $55 could be our next entry point although if you do launch positions there I would consider a stop loss near $52.

Look for HUM to report earnings on Feb. 7th before the opening bell. Analysts are expecting a profit of $0.81 a share.

Previous Comments:
We have already sold (exited) our 2011 calls for a profit.

- Current Positions -
Sep 17, 2010 - entry price on HUM @ 50.50, option @ 6.40
symbol: HUM1221A55 2012 Jan $55 call - current bid/ask $ 9.90/10.60

12/11/10 New stop loss @ 49.75
11/20/10 Entry point on the dip.
10/23/10 Exit (sell) the 2011 Jan. $55 calls, bid @ 4.40 (+137%)
10/23/10 New stop loss $ 48.75
10/16/10 New stop loss @ 47.40
10/11/10 New Entry point - HUM is breaking out past $51.00.

Current Target(s): $69.00
Current Stop loss: 49.75
Play Entered on: 09/17/10
Originally listed on the Watch List 09/04/10


L-3 Communications - LLL - close: 78.58

02/05 update: Monday's strong bounce was encouraging since a week ago LLL appeared to be rolling over. Shares spent the rest of the week consolidating sideways. The $75-74 area should be decent support. I'd wait for a dip or bounce near this area before considering new positions.

- Current Positions -
Nov 11, 2010 - entry price on LLL @ 71.87, option @ 5.80
symbol: LLL1221A75 2012 Jan $75 call - current bid/ask $ 8.10/ 8.40

02/05/11 There was no follow through lower.
01/29/11 LLL is correcting lower!
01/08/11 Take Profits Early. LLL @ 78.23. Option @ $8.50 (+46.5%)
01/08/11 New stop loss @ 69.90
11/11/10 Play triggered with LLL's gap open @ 71.87

Current Target(s): $79.50, 89.00
Current Stop loss: 69.90
Play Entered on: 11/11/10
Originally listed on the Watch List 11/06/10


MEDNAX Inc. - MD - close: 61.23

02/05 update: MD has graduated from the watch list to our play list. The company reported earnings on February 3rd. Naturally after looking at the chart you can tell that investors were unhappy with the news. MD's headline number was inline with estimates but revenues were a miss and management actually guided lower for the first quarter. The company will have a chance to defend itself as MD presents at several investor conferences in the next two weeks. As expected the $60 area was support.

We had a trigger to buy calls on the dip at $61.00 with a stop loss at $55.90. MD opened at $60.33 on Feb. 3rd, triggering our play immediately. More conservative traders may want to raise their stops. The low on Feb. 3rd was $58.96. If the stock market corrects I think we see MD test its 200-dma near $57.50. The stock will now have overhead resistance at the top of the gap near $65. MD doesn't have LEAPS so we had to settle for 2011 August calls.

NOTE: Keep your position size small. The options on MD wide spreads, which puts us at a disadvantage!

- Current Positions -
Feb 03, 2011 - entry price on MD @ 60.33, option @ 3.60
symbol: MD1120H65 2011 AUG $65 call - current bid/ask $ 3.10/ 4.20

02/03 Trade triggered at $61.00, Option @ $3.60

Chart of MD:

Current Target(s): $69.50
Current Stop loss: 55.90
Play Entered on: 02/03/11
Originally listed on the Watch List 01/22/11


Microsoft Corp. - MSFT - close: 27.77

02/05 update: MSFT is virtually flat for the week. Shares kept bouncing near their 50-dma but struggled with new resistance around the $28.00 level. Overall the action over the past two weeks still looks like a big bearish reversal pattern. That's not surprising since we've been expecting MSFT to correct lower for a while now. I'd wait for a dip near $26 or the 200-dma before considering new positions. I would not begin new long-term positions at this time.

- Current Positions -
Oct 18, 2010 - entry price on MSFT @ 25.59, option @ 3.30
symbol: MSFT1221A25 2012 Jan $25 call - current bid/ask $3.85/ 3.95

- or -

Oct 18, 2010 - entry price on MSFT @ 25.59, option @ 2.30
symbol: MSFT1319A30 2013 Jan $30 call - current bid/ask $2.61/ 2.67

01/08/11 New stop loss @ 25.90
12/11/10 New stop loss @ 24.40
11/20/10 Another Entry Point on the dip toward the 50-dma
10/28/10 MSFT delivers stronger than expected earnings.

Chart of MSFT:

Current Target(s): $31.00
Current Stop loss: 25.90
Play Entered on: 10/18/10
Originally listed in New Plays on 10/16/10


U S G Corp. - USG - close: 16.49

02/05 update: It was a very quiet week for USG. This trade is going to require some patience although I'm already starting to worry about our 2012 Jan. $20 calls (my worry is USG won't climb fast enough and the option will slowly evaporate). If the market corrects then USG should find support near $15.00. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

- Current Positions -
Dec 20, 2010 - entry price on USG @ 15.25, option @ 1.50*
symbol: USG1221A20 2012 Jan $20 call - current bid/ask $ 1.65/ 1.85

- or -

Dec 20, 2010 - entry price on USG @ 15.25, option @ 3.00
symbol: USG1319A20 2013 Jan $20 call - current bid/ask $ 2.90/ 3.40

12/20/10 Play triggered at $15.25
*entry price is an estimate.

Current Target(s): $19.90, 24.75
Current Stop loss: 12.75
Play Entered on: 12/20/10
Originally listed on the Watch List: 12/11/10


WellPoint Inc. - WLP - close: 65.07

02/05 update: WLP rallied to new multi-month highs on Friday but shares failed to hold on to most of their gains. The trend is up but I would not launch new positions at these levels. Wait for another dip near support around $60.

- Current Positions -
Oct 14th, 2010 - entry price on WLP @ 57.75, option @ $5.25
symbol: WLP1221A65 2012 Jan $65 call - current bid/ask $ 6.90/ 7.10

01/08/11 New stop loss @ 54.90
12/18/10 New stop loss @ 53.75.
11/20/10 Another entry point on the bounce from the 200-dma
10/14/10 Play Triggered when WLP hit $57.75, option @ $5.25

Current Target(s): $69.75
Current Stop loss: 54.90
Play Entered on: 10/14/10
Originally listed on the Watch List 10/11/10