Closed Plays


NUE and ORLY hit our stop loss.



Play Updates


American Intl. Group - AIG - close: 54.52

Comments:
09/28/14: After a big reversal on September 19th shares of AIG continued to sink but appeared to find some support near $54.00. The pullback may not be over yet. AIG should find stronger support in the $52.00 area.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

- Suggested Positions -
May 14, 2014 - entry price on AIG @ 53.94, option @ 1.50*
symbol: AIG150117C60 2015 JAN $60 call - current bid/ask $0.46/0.51

- or -

May 14, 2014 - entry price on AIG @ 53.94, option @ 4.35*
symbol: AIG160115C60 2016 JAN $60 call - current bid/ask $3.10/3.25

08/24/14 new stop @ 51.25
08/04/14 AIG beats earnings estimates, announces $2 billion stock buyback
05/14/14 trade opens. AIG opens at $53.94
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
05/13/14 AIG closed at $53.96, above our suggested trigger above $53.75
Please note I'm listing the standardized option symbol:
symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: AIG 65.00
Current Stop loss: 51.75
Play Entered on: 05/14/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 05/11/14


Akamai Technologies - AKAM - close: 59.82

Comments:
09/28/14: Ouch! It was an ugly week for shares of AKAM, which retreated about $2.50. The stock has closed below what should have been support near $60.00 and its 50-dma. The low on Thursday was $59.50 and Friday it was $59.52. Currently our stop loss is at $59.45. Any follow through lower will stop us out.

It's possible this is just a temporary pullback. The story for AKAM hasn't changed. I considered just lowering our stop loss to give AKAM more room. However, the reversal on Sept. 19th and the following pullback has created what appears to be a bearish reversal. I'd rather get stopped out at $59.45 and re-evaluate AKAM again at a later date.

I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments: September 14, 2014:
This company handles one third of the traffic on the Internet and yet most people have probably never heard of them. Who are they? According to the company website, "Akamai is the leading provider of cloud services for helping enterprises provide secure, high-performing user experiences on any device, anywhere. If you've ever shopped online, downloaded music, watched a web video or connected to work remotely, you've probably used Akamai's cloud platform."

The company has been growing. AKAM has beaten Wall Street's estimates every quarter this year. Back in May they raised guidance. Their latest quarterly results came out on July 30th and revenues were up +26%.

Bloomberg recently ran an article suggesting AKAM is a potential takeover target by Chinese Internet giant Alibaba (BABA). After BABA IPOs later this month they company will be flush with cash and might spend some of its $8 billion on acquisitions.

atvires of AKAM were also upgraded recently with a $70 price target. Currently shares are in a long-term up trend and nearing 14-year highs.

I am suggesting we wait for AKAM to close above $63.25 and then buy calls the next morning. I prefer the 2016 calls. If you choose the 2015s we'll have to exit in a few months.

- Suggested Positions -
SEP 19, 2014 - entry price on AKAM @ 64.38, option @ 3.50*
symbol: AKAM150117C65 2015 JAN $65 call - current bid/ask $1.85/1.95

- or -

SEP 19, 2014 - entry price on AKAM @ 64.38, option @ 7.60*
symbol: AKAM160115C70 2016 JAN $70 call - current bid/ask $5.40/5.60

09/19/14 Trade begins. AKAM opens at $64.38
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
09/18/14 triggered with a close at $64.35, above the $63.25 trigger
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: AKAM in the $75-85 zone (using the 2016 calls)
Current Stop loss: 59.45
Play Entered on: 09/19/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 09/07/14


Celgene Corp. - CELG - close: 94.46

Comments:
09/28/14: It was a volatile week for biotech stocks. CELG briefly traded with a new all-time high. Thursday's drop looks like a nasty bearish reversal but there has been no follow through yet.

I am not suggesting new positions at the moment.

Earlier Comments: August 17, 2014:
If you're looking for opportunity it's hard to beat some of the biotech names. CELG is one of the strongest. According to their press release, "Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through gene and protein regulation."

What makes CELG so attractive is the company's pipeline. Developing drugs is an expensive business. A lot of older firms are buying other companies for their pipeline. Meanwhile CELG is developing a very strong pipeline. You can view the company's current progress on this webpage.

CELG is also growing earnings. Their most recent earnings report was July 24th. Wall Street was looking for a profit of 89 cents a share on revenues of $1.84 billion. CELG beat estimates with a profit of 90 cents and revenues rising +17.1% to $1.87 billion. Earnings per share are up +18% from a year ago. Management raised their guidance for 2014. Wall Street was a little disappointed with the guidance because analysts are more optimistic.

Big picture, CELG is a strong company and the stock looks poised to breakout. Shares have been consolidating sideways under resistance at $90.00 for the last six weeks. Now it's poised to breakout. The stock is only up +6.0% year to date versus a +16% gain for the IBB biotech ETF and a +19% gain in the XBI biotech ETF. CELG could be poised to catch up with its peers.

Technically the point & figure chart is also bullish with a quadruple top breakout buy signal.

The 2014 high is $90.50. I am suggesting an intraday trigger to buy calls at $91.00. More conservative traders could instead choose to wait for a close above $90.50 as an alternative entry point. If triggered we'll start with a stop loss at $85.75, under the 50-dma. I do expect the $100 level to offer some resistance but our long-term target is the $110-120 zone.

- Suggested Positions -
Aug 18, 2014 - entry price on CELG @ 91.00, option @ 3.45*
symbol: CELG150117c100 2015 JAN $100 call - current bid/ask $3.60/3.75

- or -

Aug 18, 2014 - entry price on CELG @ 91.00, option @ 10.00*
symbol: CELG160115c100 2016 JAN $100 call - current bid/ask $11.45/11.80

08/31/14 new stop @ 88.00
08/18/14 CELG hit our trigger at $91.00 (intraday)
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: CELG 110-120 zone
Current Stop loss: 88.00
Play Entered on: 08/18/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 08/17/14


CSX Corp. - CSX - close: 32.32

Comments:
09/28/14: CSX is still changed for the week. Traders bought the dip and shares outperformed the market on Friday with a +1.69% gain. CSX looks poised to breakout to new 2014 highs soon.

Tonight we'll move the stop loss to $29.75.

Be advised that CSX has earnings on October 14th.

Earlier Comments: August 10, 2014:
The transportation group has been leading the stock market higher until about two weeks ago. That's then the group peaked. Since then the Dow Jones Transportation Average has seen a -6% pullback. It looks like the profit taking might be over as the group helped lead the bounce on Friday.

The railroads have delivered a similar performance. We want to take advantage of the pullback with CSX. According to the company's website, " CSX Corporation, together with its subsidiaries based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the nation's leading transportation suppliers. The company’s rail and intermodal businesses provide rail-based transportation services including traditional rail service and the transport of intermodal containers and trailers. CSX Transportation network encompasses about 21,000 route miles of track in 23 states, the District of Columbia and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Our transportation network serves some of the largest population centers in the nation. Nearly two-thirds of Americans live within CSX's service territory."

The rebound in the U.S. economy should be great news for the railroads. Rising consumer demand would mean more shipments. A healthy automobile market means more auto shipments. The oil and gas shale boom means more energy shipped by rail. Record harvests mean more grain shipments. A stabilizing coal industry will also help put a floor under the railroads.

Altogether the future looks bullish for the railroad companies. That's why we want to take advantage of this post-earnings profit taking in CSX. The stock has retreated to its long-term trend line of support and started to bounce. More aggressive investors may want to buy calls now. I am suggesting we wait for CSX to close above $30.00 and then buy calls the next morning with a stop loss at $28.40.

Our long-term target for the 2016 calls is CSX in the $37-40 zone. Currently the Point & Figure chart is $38.50. If you buy the 2015 calls plan on exiting sooner.

- Suggested Positions -
Aug 15, 2014 - entry price on CSX @ 30.29, option @ 1.48
symbol: CSX150117C30 2015 JAN $30 call - current bid/ask $2.74/2.84

- or -

Aug 15, 2014 - entry price on CSX @ 30.29, option @ 1.14*
symbol: CSX160115C35 2016 JAN $35 call - current bid/ask $1.63/1.74

09/28/14 new stop @ 29.75
09/07/14 new stop @ 28.95
08/15/14 trade begins. CSX opens at $30.29
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
08/14/14 CSX meets our entry point requirement with a close above $30.00 (closed at $30.16)
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: CSX in the $37-40 zone
Current Stop loss: 29.75
Play Entered on: 08/15/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 08/10/14


Deckers Outdoor Corp. - DECK - close: 99.38

Comments:
09/28/14: DECK eked out a minor gain. Traders bought the dip near $96.00 and its simple 20-dma midweek. Now DECK is testing resistance near $100.00 again. The stock looks ready to breakout. If DECK does breakout the next resistance levels look like $105, $110, and $118ish.

A breakout past $100 could spark a short squeeze.

We'll move the stop loss to $92.40.

Earlier Comments: August 3, 2014:
The 40-year old Deckers Corp. is headquartered in California. The company considers itself "a global leader in designing, marketing and distributing innovative footwear, apparel and accessories developed for both everyday casual lifestyle use and high performance activities. The Company's portfolio of brands includes UGG®, Teva®, Sanuk®, TSUBO®, Ahnu®, MOZO®, and HOKA ONE ONE®. Deckers Outdoor products are sold in more than 50 countries and territories through select department and specialty stores, 126 Company-owned and operated retail stores, and select online stores, including Company-owned websites."

DECK might also be an exception to the struggling retail space this year. The company just reported its 2015 fiscal year first quarter on July 24th. Spring happens to be the worst season for DECK's sales but they still turned in a strong report. Wall Street was expecting a loss of $1.29 a share. DECK reported a loss of $1.07. Revenues soared +24.3% from a year ago to $2.11.5 million, significantly above expectations. Their Q1 gross margins were 41.% Management raised their 2015 guidance and expect gross margins to rise to 49%. DECK is still planning on adding 30 to 35 new stores this year. Management is also forecasting +18% sales growth for the year. Altogether it was a bullish report and shares soared to new multi-year highs and almost tagged $95 a share.

The post-earnings profit taking is normal. Prior resistance in the $87.50-90.00 zone should be support. Seeing DECK rebound from its 10-dma on Friday is encouraging if you're bullish. If you're bearish, well, it could be a painful year. The long-term trend is bullish with a strong pattern of higher lows. The most recent data listed short interest at 19% of the small 33.4 million share float. If the up trend continues it could pressure more shorts to cover.

I am cautious on the broader market so we want to be patient with our entry point on DECK. I am suggesting we wait for DECK to close above $91.25 and then buy calls the next morning with a stop loss at $86.90. I'm suggesting a target in the $110-115 zone.

- Suggested Positions -
AUG 06, 2014 - entry price on DECK @ 91.54, option @ 5.05*
symbol: DECK150117c100 2015 JAN $100 call - current bid/ask $6.50/7.10

- or -

AUG 06, 2014 - entry price on DECK @ 91.54, option @ 13.30*
symbol: DECK160115c100 2016 JAN $100 call - current bid/ask $15.00/16.40

09/28/14 new stop @ 92.40
09/14/14 new stop @ 89.75
08/06/14 trade begins @ 91.54
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
08/05/14 triggered with a close at $91.71 (above trigger $91.25)
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: DECK @ 110-115
Current Stop loss: 92.40
Play Entered on: 08/06/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 08/03/14


The Walt Disney Co. - DIS - close: 88.74

Comments:
09/28/14: DIS suffered some profit taking last week and flirted with a breakdown under its simple 50-dma. The $87.50 level should also offer some support should the 50-dma break. Yet I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Our stop remains at $86.40 but more conservative investors may want to take profits now.

- Suggested Positions -
OCT 23, 2013 - entry price on DIS @ 68.81, option @ 3.70
symbol: DIS1517a75 2015 JAN $75 call - current bid/ask $14.05/14.30

09/07/14 new stop @ 86.40
08/24/14 new stop @ 83.75
08/17/14 new stop @ 82.95, adjust exit target to $98.50
08/05/14 DIS delivers better than expected earnings and revenues
08/03/14 Investors will want to consider taking profits now before DIS reports earnings.
07/06/14 DIS is testing a trend line of higher highs
06/15/14 new stop @ 79.00
05/26/14 new stop @ 77.75
05/11/14 new stop @ 75.75, adjust exit target from $89 to $97.50
...please see older updates for earlier adjustments...

Current Target: DIS @ 98.50
Current Stop loss: 86.40
Play Entered on: 10/23/13
Originally listed on the Watch List: 10/13/13


The Dow Chemical Co. - DOW - close: $53.57

Comments:
09/28/14: DOW spent the week consolidating sideways near its 50-dma. I remain defensive here. Our stop is at $51.40. More conservative traders may want to adjust their stop higher.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments:
DOW is in the basic materials sector. The company supplies chemical products as raw materials. The stock is currently in a long-term bullish channel. Investors have lifted shares to multi-year highs as market participants search for yield. DOW currently offers a 3.0% annual yield. Plus, they have an aggressive stock buyback program and plan to buy back $4.5 billion in stock this year.

DOW's business is doing well too. They have faced some rising prices for feedstock and energy costs. Yet they have managed to grow margins in the rest of their business. Management believes this margin growth will continue in 2014. Their Q1 2014 earnings were up +75% from a year ago and marked their sixth quarter in a row of year-over-year earnings growth.

- Suggested Positions -
MAY 29, 2014 - entry price on DOW @ 51.78, option @ 1.95
symbol: DOW150117C55 2015 JAN $55 call - current bid/ask $1.92/1.98

- or -

MAY 29, 2014 - entry price on DOW @ 51.78, option @ 3.90*
symbol: DOW160115C55 2016 JAN $55 call - current bid/ask $4.50/4.65

09/21/14 new stop @ 51.40
08/17/14 new stop @ 49.75
07/20/14 new stop @ 49.00
06/27/14 DOW declines after DuPont issues an earnings warning
05/29/14 trade begins. DOW opens at $51.78
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
05/28/14 DOW closed at $51.77, above our trigger of $51.25
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: DOW @ 60.00
Current Stop loss: 51.40
Play Entered on: 05/29/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 05/26/14


DaVita Healthcare Partners - DVA - close: 73.40

Comments:
09/28/14: DVA has spent the month of September churning sideways between its 50-dma as support and overhead resistance near $75.00.

A close above $75.25 could be used as a new entry point. However, I would probably avoid the 2016 calls. The bid/ask spread is outrageously wide.

Earlier Comments: June 1, 2014:
DVA is in the healthcare sector. The company provides kidney dialysis services and related lab services. The most recent earnings report was lackluster but DVA did report revenue growth above Wall Street estimates. Management has been buying up smaller domestic rivals and expanding overseas into countries like China, Columbia, Germany, India, Malaysia, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. In the U.S. DVA has about 35% of the outpatient dialysis market.

Bears on this stock would argue the company is at risk for pricing pressures from Medicare. About 90% of its total U.S. dialysis patients are on some form of government-assisted program. Nearly 80% of are part of Medicare. The latest rules from Medicare said there would be no price changes in 2014 and 2015 but there could be reimbursement reductions in 2016 and 2017.

This pressure from Medicare has not stopped Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway from raising its stake in DVA. Berkshire started investing in DVA back in Q4 2011. They have been slowly building a position and this past quarter (Q1 2014) Berkshire added another 1.1 million shares. Their total position is now 37.6 million shares worth about $2.6 billion. Berkshire tends to be a long-term investors, longer than our timeframe but it is still a vote of confidence for DVA.

- Suggested Positions -
JUN 04, 2014 - entry price on DVA @ 71.44, option @ 2.65*
symbol: DVA150117C75 2015 JAN $75 call - current bid/ask $2.00/2.70

- or -

JUN 04, 2014 - entry price on DVA @ 71.44, option @ 4.70*
symbol: DVA160115C80 2016 JAN $80 call - current bid/ask $2.00/6.70

08/24/14 new stop at $69.85
07/31/14 DVA reports better than expected bottom and top line results
07/20/14 new stop @ 69.00
06/04/14 trade begins. DVA opens at $71.44
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
06/03/14 DVA closed at $71.47, above our trigger of $71.25
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: DVA @ 85.00
Current Stop loss: 69.85
Play Entered on: 06/04/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 06/01/14


Expedia Inc. - EXPE - close: 85.90

Comments:
09/28/14: EXPE has spent most of September slowly consolidating lower. Last week shares broke down under the 50-dma only to recover before the week was out. Last week's rebound might be a short-term bottom. A close above $86.50 could be used as a new bullish entry point.

Our stop loss is at $79.75 but more conservative investors might want to move their stop closer to $82.00 instead.

Earlier Comments: June 1, 2014:
EXPE is in the services sector. The company is in the super competitive online travel industry with rivals like Priceline.com (PCLN) and Orbitz Worldwide (OWW).

EXPE is developing a trend of beating analysts' estimates with strong profit and revenue growth. This past quarter EXPE reported revenues of $1.2 billion. That is the fifth quarter in a row that EXPE has delivered double-digit year over year revenue growth. The company has also seen surging growth in its bookings. Q3 2014 saw 15% bookings growth. Q4 2014 was +21%. Q1 2014 was +29%.

Analyst firm Cantor Fitzgerald recently offered bullish comments on EXPE and raised their price target. The company is having success with its Expedia Traveler Preference program. In Q3 2013 there were about 35,000 hotels in the program. By Q1 2014 that has grown to 51,000 hotels. As more hotels join it will boost EXPE's room nights metric and sales.

Billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper's Appaloosa Management is also bullish on EXPE. The latest 13F filing showed that Appaloosa had initiated a new stake in EXPE in the first quarter of 2014.

Bears could argue that EXPE, PCLN and OWW could face competition from companies like Google and Facebook as they seek to boost their ad revenues to their large audiences. Reuters has reported that Google is experimenting with some programs with a few hotels. This threat is probably a few years away and could eventually make EXPE as potential takeover target.

Technically EXPE experienced a correction from $81 to $67 earlier this year. The stock found support in the $67 area and just recently EXPE has broken out past some key resistance. Currently shares hover just below short-term resistance at $74.00.

Our long-term target is the $90-100 zone.

- Suggested Positions -
JUN 09, 2014 - entry price on EXPE @ 75.30, option @ 8.20*
symbol:EXPE160115C90 2016 JAN $90 call - current bid/ask $11.10/11.50

08/24/14 new stop @ 79.75, adjust target to $98.00
08/03/14 new stop @ 76.75
07/31/14 EXPE delivers better than expected earnings and revenue growth
07/06/14 new stop @ 74.75
06/09/14 trade begins. EXPE opens at $75.30
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
06/06/14 EXPE closes above our trigger, above $75.00
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: EXPE @ 98.00
Current Stop loss: 79.75
Play Entered on: 06/09/14

Originally listed on the Watch List: 06/01/14


F5 Networks - FFIV - close: 121.04

Comments:
09/28/14: Hmm... our FFIV trade could be in trouble. I warned readers about the bearish reversal pattern that occurred on September 19th. FFIV has confirmed that reversal with a drop toward $120. If shares break down under their 50-dma I fear we could see FFIV hit our stop loss at $116.40.

More conservative investors may want to raise their stop loss.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments: June 8th, 2014:
FFIV is in the technology sector. The company sells networking equipment and software. The company is seeing a strong turnaround after introducing a new good/better/best pricing model for its products last year. Customers have responded well to the strategy. FFIV said products in this pricing model saw a +83% increase in sales quarter over quarter.

FFIV is also seeing strong sales demand from its telecom customers. The company also announced that it is seeing double-digit growth in America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Japan. FFIV's most recent earnings report beat Wall Street's estimates on both the top and bottom line. Management then raised their guidance (for FFIV's third quarter).

Our long-term target is the $135 region. Currently the point & figure chart is bullish and forecasting at $138 target.

- Suggested Positions -
JUN 11, 2014 - entry price on FFIV @ 111.96, option @ 8.20*
symbol:FFIV150117C120 2015 JAN $120 call - current bid/ask $ 8.05/ 8.45

- or -

JUN 11, 2014 - entry price on FFIV @ 111.96, option @ 12.55*
symbol:FFIV160115C130 2016 JAN $130 call - current bid/ask $11.60/13.80

08/31/14 new stop @ 116.40
08/24/14 new stop @ 112.40
08/10/14 new stop @ 107.40
07/24/14 reported strong earnings and raised guidance
06/22/14 Caution! FFIV has reversed at a trend line of resistance.
06/11/14 trade begins. FFIV opens at $111.96
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
06/10/14 FFIV closed @ 112.59, above our trigger of $112.50
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: FFIV @ 135.00
Current Stop loss: 116.40
Play Entered on: 06/11/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 06/08/14


General Dynamics - GD - close: 127.70

Comments:
09/28/14: The defense-related names encountered some profit taking last week but traders were buying the dip on Friday. Stocks like GD were showing relative strength on Friday. I would use Friday's bounce as a new entry point although traders may want to wait for a close above $128.00 before initiating positions.

Earlier Comments: September 7, 2014:
GD is considered part of the industrial goods sector. The company is a huge aerospace and defense company. They have four significant segments: aerospace, combat systems, information systems, and marine systems (ships and submarines). The defense industry in the U.S. has been saddled with significant budget cuts due to the 2011 sequestration deal that will shave $500 billion from U.S. defense spending from 2012 through 2021. The industry has managed to thrive in spite of these budget cuts.

GD has beaten Wall Street's earnings estimates four quarters in a row. The company is also seeing margin improvement. Their latest report on July 23rd not only beat analysts estimates but management raised their EPS and revenue guidance for 2014. Multiple analysts raised their price target on GD following this announcement.

Technically shares of GD look like a buy right here at $125.45. I'd like to see a little bit of follow through. Wait for a close above $126.25 and then buy calls the next day. We'll start with a stop loss at $119.75. Our long-term target is the $140-150 zone.

- Suggested Positions -
SEP 10, 2014 - entry price on GD @ 126.13, option @ 5.60*
symbol: GD160115C140 2016 JAN $140 call - current bid/ask $5.50/5.80

09/28/14 Friday's bounce looks like a new entry point
09/10/14 trade begins. GD opens at $126.13
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
09/09/14 GD closed @ 126.25, above our trigger of $126.25
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: GD in the $140-150 zone
Current Stop loss: 119.75
Play Entered on: 09/10/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 09/07/14



Lockheed Martin Corp. - LMT - close: 181.58

Comments:
09/28/14: LMT is another defense name that was showing relative strength on Friday. The stock recovered from its profit taking earlier in the week and soared +2.3% to end the week at a new high.

On Thursday LMT announced it was raising its dividend from $1.33 to $1.50 a share, payable on December 26 to shareholders on record as of December 1st. They also boosted their stock buy back program by another $2 billion.

Tonight we'll move the stop loss up to $171.75.

Earlier Comments: August 17, 2014:
LMT is considered part of the industrial goods sector. According to their press release, "Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 113,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion."

That's a pretty brief summary for such a large company. Their aerospace and defensive business is extensive covering aircraft, ground vehicles, missiles, missile defense, naval systems, radar systems, sensors, tactical communications, training & logistics, transportation, and unmanned systems.

Their information technology business works in biometrics, cloud computing, cyber security, health and life sciences, and more. Their space division includes satellites, exploration, and launch vehicles. Plus their emerging technologies operations covers exciting fields like robotics, nanotechnology, and advanced aeronautics.

Fundamentally the company has managed to navigate both the economy's ups and downs and the constantly stormy political weather in Washington. LMT has managed to beat Wall Street's earnings estimates the last four quarters in a row. Management has raised their guidance three out of the last four quarters. LMT's most recent earnings report was July 22nd. Analysts were expecting a profit of $2.66 a share on revenues of $11.15 billion. LMT delivered $2.76 a share with revenues of $11.31 billion.

If you look at the world today there seems to be a growing number of conflicts, not less. Just this past week U.S. Defense Secretary Hagel was speaking and said, "The world is exploding all over." Sadly that's probably bullish for LMT's military business.

The stock has spent almost six months consolidating its very impressive 2013 gains. Now it looks ready to breakout. Shares are hovering just below resistance in the $170-171 area. Tonight I am suggesting we wait for LMT to close above $171.00 and then buy calls the next morning with a stop loss at $161.95.

The point & figure chart is bullish with a $196.00 target. We'll start this trade with a potential exit target at $199.00.

- Suggested Positions -
AUG 19, 2014 - entry price on LMT @ 172.02, option @ 3.40*
symbol: LMT150117C180 2015 JAN $180 call - current bid/ask $6.50/7.00

- or -

AUG 19, 2014 - entry price on LMT @ 172.02, option @ 7.00*
symbol: LMT160115C190 2016 JAN $190 call - current bid/ask $9.80/10.30

09/28/14 new stop @ 171.75
09/21/14 new stop @ 168.45
09/14/14 new stop @ 164.75
08/19/14 trade begins. LMT opens at $172.02
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
08/18/14 LMT closed at $171.52, above our trigger at $171.00
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: LMT @ 199.00
Current Stop loss: 171.75
Play Entered on: 08/19/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 08/17/14


Morgan Stanley - MS - close: 34.65

Comments:
09/28/14: Financial stocks retreated lower last week and MS was no exception. The stock's bounce on Friday snapped a five-day losing streak. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments: August 31, 2014:
MS is in the financial sector. They're one of the biggest players in the financial services industry. The stock has been outperforming its peers with a +9.4% gain this year versus a +6.8% gain in the XLF financial ETF. MS has managed to beat Wall Street's earnings estimates four quarters in a row.

Technically shares just recently broke through significant resistance in the $33.50 level this past week. This leaves MS at new multi-year highs.

Currently MS is testing short-term resistance at $34.50. I'm suggesting a trigger to buy calls if MS can close above $34.60.

- Suggested Positions -
SEP 05, 2014 - entry price on MS @ 34.42, option @ 1.57*
symbol: MS150117C35 2015 JAN $35 call - current bid/ask $1.50/1.53

- or -

SEP 05, 2014 - entry price on MS @ 34.42, option @ 1.80*
symbol: MS160115C40 2016 JAN $40 call - current bid/ask $1.75/1.80

09/21/14 new stop @ 32.40
09/05/14 trade begins. MS opens at $34.42
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
09/04/14 MS closed @ 34.70, above our trigger of $34.60
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: 2015 calls is MS @ 39.50, 2016 calls is MS @ 49.00
Current Stop loss: 32.40
Play Entered on: 09/05/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 08/31/14


Microsoft Corp. - MSFT - close: 46.41

Comments:
09/28/14: MSFT's momentum stalled last week. Shares pulled back and ended a run of seven weekly gains in a row. The $45.50 area and its 50-dma (near $45) should offer decent support.

Don't forget that we recently updated our exit strategy. We will plan to exit our 2015 calls when MSFT hits $49.50. We will leave the exit target on the 2016 calls undetermined at the moment.

Earlier Comments: June 15, 2014:
Shares of semiconductor giant Intel (INTC) soared on Friday (June 13th) when the company surprised investors by raising its revenue guidance the night before. INTC said they were seeing stronger sales of PCs. That's right. They said PCs. The sale of personal computers has been falling for several quarters as consumer spend the money on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. To be fair INTC did say they were seeing stronger sales of PCs to businesses but it's still good news for INTC but it could be great news for MSFT.

INTC hinted that when MSFT stopped supporting the Windows XP operating system in April this year it has sparked an upgrade cycle. XP has been around for years. One analyst estimated that 25% of the PCs currently connected to the Internet are running XP. That's a huge number of computers and now they're at risk for virus and hacking attempts that MSFT will no longer try to patch.

As businesses and consumers upgrade their PC it should mean strong sales for MSFT's Windows 8 operating software. This upgrade cycle could last a while.

Currently shares of MSFT are in a long-term up trend (see chart) and they closed near 14-year highs on Friday. There is short-term resistance at $41.65. I am suggesting we wait for MSFT to close above $42.00 and then buy calls the next day with a stop loss at $38.40.

I am listing the 2015 and 2016 calls but my preference is for the 2016s.

- Suggested Positions -
JUN 25, 2014 - entry price on MSFT @ 41.93, option @ 1.05
symbol:MSFT150117c45 2015 JAN $45 call - current bid/ask $ 2.55/2.58

- or -

JUN 25, 2014 - entry price on MSFT @ 41.93, option @ 2.60
symbol:MSFT160115c45 2016 JAN $45 call - current bid/ask $ 4.50/4.65

09/21/14 new stop @ 43.90
09/07/14 new stop @ 41.90
09/07/14 set exit target for 2015 calls: MSFT @ $49.50
08/24/14 new stop @ 41.45
07/27/14 new stop @ $39.75
07/20/14 Our 2015 call option has almost doubled in value and investors may want to take some money off the table.
06/26/14 Trade begins. MSFT opens down at $41.93
06/25/14 MSFT closes at $42.03, above our trigger of $42.00
06/23/14 MSFT closes at $41.99
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: Exit 2015 calls: MSFT @ $49.50
(no target yet to exit the 2016 calls)
Current Stop loss: 43.90
Play Entered on: 06/25/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 06/15/14


Nike, Inc. - NKE - close: 89.50

Comments:
09/28/14: NKE was a big winner with a +12.2% rally on Friday thanks to better than expected earnings results the night before.

Wall Street expected a profit of $0.88 a share on revenues of $7.78 billion for the quarter. NKE delivered $1.09 a share on revenues of $7.98 billion. Management said that orders were up and offered a bullish outlook. Several firms upgraded their price target on NKE. Some raised their target to $95. More than one firm raised their target to $100.

We will tentatively set our exit target at $99.00. However, on a short-term basis I would expect some profit taking. NKE's surge on Friday pushed the stock to all-time highs and shares may need to digest these gains before moving higher.

Please note our new stop loss at $79.45.

Earlier Comments: September 7, 2014:
We have had NKE on and off our radar screen for weeks. I've personally been watching this stock for months as it consolidated sideways under major resistance at the $80.00 level. Shares are finally breaking out.

The company is a powerhouse in the athletic apparel and footwear industry. NKE is targeting a pretty big demographic. According to the company's mission "to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world" (*if you have a body, you are an athlete). Real athletes might not take to kindly to NKE's definition but it's great for marketing. The company is considered the world leader in athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories.

This company is poised to cash in on the latest fashion trend called "athleisure". Last year apparel sales were down -1%. Yet sales of activewear rose +7%. The activewear segment now accounts for 16% of the U.S. market and has grown to $34 billion a year. Athleisure is the growing trend of fashion and activewear.

NKE's most recent earnings report was better than expected. Wall Street was looking for a profit of $0.75 on revenues of $7.34 billion. The company beat estimates with $0.78 on revenues of $7.42 billion. Gross margins improved 170 basis points to 45.6 percent. Management reported that they spent $912 million on buying back 12.3 million shares of stock last quarter as part of their $8 billion stock buyback program.

Technically shares of NKE have been stuck under major resistance at the $80.00 level since December 2013. Investors have been slowing buying the dips and now the stock looks poised to breakout past resistance. The point & figure chart is bullish and currently forecasting at $98 target.

Friday's bullish breakout past resistance is an entry point. I am suggesting we buy calls immediately. If you have the patience then consider waiting for a dip back into the $80.00-81.00 zone as an alternative entry point. Broken resistance at $80.00 should be new support. We'll start this trade with a stop loss at $75.75.

- Suggested Positions -
SEP 07, 2014 - entry price on NKE @ 81.92, option @ $5.20*
symbol: NKE160115c90 2016 JAN $90 call - current bid/ask $8.50/8.75

09/28/14 new stop @ 79.45, set exit target at $99.00
09/21/14 earnings are coming up on Sept. 25th
09/08/14 Trade begins. NKE Opens at $81.92
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
09/07/14 NKE is added to our new play section

Current Target: $99.00
Current Stop loss: 79.45
Play Entered on: 09/08/14
Originally listed in the New Plays 09/07/14


Thermo Fisher Scientific - TMO - close: 121.26

Comments:
09/28/14: The pullback in TMO has created a three-week decline but shares are still honoring the bullish trend of higher lows. Traders bought the dip on Friday near support in the $120 area. More aggressive traders may want to buy calls here.

Earlier Comments: August 10, 2014:
TMO is considered part of the healthcare sector. They provide products and services in their analytical instruments, laboratory services, specialty diagnostics, and their new Life Sciences division.

According to the company website, "Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with revenues of $17 billion and 50,000 employees in 50 countries. Our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. We help our customers accelerate life sciences research, solve complex analytical challenges, improve patient diagnostics and increase laboratory productivity. Through our four premier brands – Thermo Scientific, Life Technologies, Fisher Scientific and Unity Lab Services – we offer an unmatched combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and comprehensive support."

TMO is developing a trend of beating Wall Street's estimates. Back in April they reported their first quarter results that beat estimates on both the top and bottom line. Management then raised their guidance for 2014. TMO did it again when they reported Q2 earnings on July 23rd. However, this report is significant because it's the first earnings report including its new Life Sciences acquisition.

Wall Street was expecting TMO to report earnings of $1.63 a share on revenues of $4.25 billion. The company beat these expectations. Earnings rose +30% to $1.72 a share. Revenues soared +33% to $4.32 billion. Gross margins improved 154 basis points to 45.4%. Management then adjusted their revenue guidance higher.

TMO's management has also upgraded their expected synergies from the Life Sciences acquisition. They now expect to reap $350 million in synergies over the next three years. That's up from $300 million.

The stock has reflected TMO's bullish performance with big gains over the past couple of years. Yet the rally peaked in March 2014 and shares have been digesting gains for months. This past week saw TMO testing significant support near its long-term trend of higher lows. This looks like an opportunity to hop on board.

I am suggesting we wait for TMO to close above $122.50 and then buy calls the next morning with a stop loss at $117.40. The $127.00 level is overhead resistance but we're betting on a bullish breakout to record highs.

- Suggested Positions -
SEP 04, 2014 - entry price on TMO @ 123.98, option @ $3.25*
symbol: TMO150117c130 2015 JAN $130 call - current bid/ask $1.65/1.95

- or -

SEP 04, 2014 - entry price on TMO @ 123.98, option @ $12.00*
symbol: TMO160115c130 2016 JAN $130 call - current bid/ask $ 9.20/10.60

09/04/14 trade begins. TMO opens at $123.98
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
09/03/14 triggered. TMO closed @ 123.75, above our trigger of $123.00
08/24/14 adjust entry strategy: wait for a close above $123.00 and then buy calls the next day (instead of a close above $122.50)
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: exit calls TMO @ 150.00
Current Stop loss: 117.40
Play Entered on: 09/04/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 08/10/14


V.F. Corp. - VFC - close: 66.27

Comments:
09/28/14: VFC lost 90 cents for the week. Shares also snapped a five-week winning streak. If the market decline continues we can look for support near $64.00.

Earlier Comments: September 7, 2014:
Wall Street remains concerned about the consumer, especially on apparel spending. Yet shares of VFC have managed to weather these concerns pretty well. The company offers a broad range of apparel, footwear, accessories, and more.

According to a company press release VFC describes itself as, "a global leader in the design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories. The company's highly diversified portfolio of 30 powerful brands spans numerous geographies, product categories, consumer demographics and sales channels, giving VF a unique industry position and the ability to create sustainable, long-term growth for customers and shareholders. The company's largest brands are The North Face, Vans, Timberland, Wrangler, Lee and Nautica." Sales are nearing $11.8 billion a year.

Management decided to split its stock 4-for-1 back in December 2013. Stocks splits are normally seen as a sign of confidence by the management. VFC missed earnings estimates and guided lower back in February 2014. Since then the earnings picture has improved. Investors have been buying the dips and the point & figure chart is bullish with a $77 target.

Technically the stock looks like a buy right now with Friday's bounce from its 10-dma and the close near all-time highs. I'd like to see a little bit more confirmation. Wait for a close above $65.75 and then by calls. We'll start with a stop at $60.75, just under the simple 200-dma.

- Suggested Positions -
SEP 15, 2014 - entry price on VFC @ 65.85, option @ 4.50*
symbol: VFC160115C70 2016 JAN $70 call - current bid/ask $4.80/5.20

09/15/14 trade begins. VFC opened at $65.85
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
09/12/14 VFC met our entry requirement with a close above $65.75
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: VFC 85-90.00 zone
Current Stop loss: 60.75
Play Entered on: 09/15/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 09/07/14


Wells Fargo & Co. - WFC - close: 51.87

Comments:
09/28/14: WFC hit new all-time highs on the 19th and has gone almost straight down since. Traders finally stepped in to buy the pullback on Friday. The breakdown under $52.00 is disappointing since that should have been new support.

More conservative investors might want to adjust their stop closer to the $51.00 level. I am not suggesting new positions.

WFC is scheduled to report earnings on October 14th.

Earlier Comments:
(June 1, 2014) WFC's management also said they would love to boost the amount of capital they return to shareholders. They'd like to pay out 55% to 75% of their net profits back to shareholders as dividends and stock buybacks. That's up from 34% in 2013. Any changes still have to be approved by regulators.

- Suggested Positions -
DEC 26, 2013 - entry price on WFC @ 45.50, option @ 1.50
symbol: WFC1517a50 2015 JAN $50 call - current bid/ask $ 2.78/2.83

-- or --

DEC 26, 2013 - entry price on WFC @ 45.50, option @ 2.95*
symbol: WFC1615a50 2016 JAN $50 call - current bid/ask $ 4.50/4.70

09/21/14 new stop @ 49.90
09/14/14 a close above $52.10 could be a new bullish entry point to buy 2016 calls.
08/24/14 new stop @ 49.25
08/10/14 adjust stop loss to $48.80
07/11/14 WFC reported earnings that were in-line with estimates
07/06/14 investors may want to take profits before WFC reports earnings on July 11th.
...please see earlier updates for older comments...

Current Target: Exit WFC hits $59.00
Current Stop loss: 49.90
Play Entered on: 12/26/13
Originally listed on the Watch List: 12/08/13


WellPoint Inc. - WLP - close: 120.80

Comments:
09/28/14: It was a volatile week for WLP. The stock churned sideways between $119.00 and $124.50. After a multi-week rally WLP could be due for a deeper pullback. Look for support in the $116-117 area.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments: July 6, 2014:
WellPoint is one of the nation's leading health benefits companies. We believe that our health connects us all. So we focus on being a valued health partner and delivering quality products and services that give members access to the care they need. With nearly 67 million people served by our affiliated companies including nearly 37 million enrolled in our family of health plans (source: WLP website).

Healthcare stocks have been market leaders. Both the XLV healthcare ETF and the XHS healthcare services ETF are at all-time highs. One of the factors driving this move has been Obamacare. Love it or hate it the Affordable Care Act has generated more customers for the healthcare industry. The latest data would suggest about eight million people have signed up for Obamacare. It would appear that 60% of the people that have signed up did not previously have insurance.

A lot of insurance/healthcare firms expect their participation in the Obamacare program to either be a breakeven or end up with negative margins. WLP has been forecasting their Obamacare business should see 3% to 5% margins.

WLP has also done well focusing on the Medicaid business. They are currently the largest participant in Medicaid and they believe it will continue to grow for them at a double-digit rate.

Technically shares of WLP are hitting all-time highs. Shares produced a big rally higher in May and spent most of June consolidating gains in the $105-110 zone. Now WLP is on the verge of a breakout. Thursday's intraday high was $111.01. I am suggesting we wait for WLP to close above $111.00 and then buy calls the next morning with a stop loss at $104.75. Our long-term target is the $130.00 area. Currently the Point & Figure chart is bullish and forecasting at $149.00 target.

- Suggested Positions -
JUL 15, 2014 - entry price on WLP @ 113.05, option @ 4.00*
symbol:WLP150117c120 2015 JAN $120 call - current bid/ask $ 6.30/6.65

-- or --

JUL 15, 2014 - entry price on WLP @ 113.05, option @ 7.35*
symbol:WLP160115c125 2016 JAN $125 call - current bid/ask $10.00/11.95

09/21/14 new stop @ 114.75
09/07/14 new stop @ 112.25
08/31/14 new stop @ 109.45
08/10/14 technically WLP is showing weakness and investors might want to raise their stop loss.
07/15/14 trade begins. WLP opens at $113.05
07/14/14 triggered. WLP closed at $113.15, above our $111.00 trigger
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: Exit WLP hits $130.00
Current Stop loss: 114.75
Play Entered on: 07/15/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 07/06/14



CLOSED Plays


Nucor Corp. - NUE - close: 55.23

Comments:
09/28/14: NUE had big gains the first and third weeks of September but shares hit some profit taking last week. The SLX steel ETF plunged last week and crashed through support to close at multi-month lows. This weighed on shares of NUE, which reversed recent gains and hit our stop at $54.90 on Thursday's market decline.

- Suggested Positions -
SEP 05, 2014 - entry price on NUE @ 55.69, option @ $3.35*
symbol: NUE160115c60 2016 JAN $60 call - exit $3.00** (-10.4%)

09/25/14 stopped out
**option exit price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was closed.
09/21/14 new stop @ 54.90
09/05/14 trade begins. NUE opens at $55.69
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
09/04/14 triggered. NUE closed @ 55.79, above our trigger of $55.25
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Chart

Current Target: exit calls NUE @ 69.00
Current Stop loss: 54.90
Play Entered on: 09/05/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 08/31/14


O'Reilly Automotive - ORLY - close: 151.34

Comments:
09/28/14: The profit taking in shares of ORLY continued for a third week in a row. ORLY traded below what should have been support in the $150-152 area. It also broke down under what should have been support at its long-term two-year trend line of higher lows. Our stop was hit at $149.75 with the market's sharp drop on Thursday. If Murphy's Law has any say ORLY will rocket higher from here.

- Suggested Positions -
SEP 05, 2014 - entry price on ORLY @ 156.85, option @ $5.95*
symbol:ORLY150117c160 2015 JAN $160 call - exit $2.40** (-59.6%)

09/25/14 stopped out
**option exit price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was closed.
09/05/14 trade begins, ORLY opens at $156.85
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
09/04/14 triggered. ORLY closed @ 157.43, above trigger of $157.25
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Chart

Current Target: exit calls ORLY @ 185.00
Current Stop loss: 149.75
Play Entered on: 09/05/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 08/31/14