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New Plays
Long Plays
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New Long Plays

None today.
 

New Short Plays

None today.
 

In Play Updates and Reviews

Long Play Updates

Builders FirstSource - BLDR - close: 21.92 chg: +0.55 stop: 20.25

We did not have to wait very long for BLDR to hit our trigger to go long at $21.75. The stock produced some volatility at the open but then proceeded to climb throughout the session instead of waiting for the late afternoon market rally. We do not see any changes from our weekend play description. Our target is the $23.50-24.00 range. We do not want to hold over the earnings report even if we think it will be positive. There is some resistance around $22.45 so more conservative traders may want to adjust their strategy.

Picked on January 03 at $21.75
Change since picked: + 0.17
Earnings Date 01/26/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 205 thousand

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Duke Energy - DUK - close: 27.84 change: +0.39 stop: 26.89

Utility stocks turned in a very strong day. The UTY index added 3.3%. Meanwhile shares of DUK only added 1.4% but the stock is nearing our target in the $27.95-28.00 range.

Picked on December 13 at $26.89
Change since picked: + 0.95
Earnings Date 02/01/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.9 million

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LifeCell Corp. - LIFC - close: 19.25 change: +0.21 stop: 19.24

We do not see any change from our weekend update on LIFC. Our trigger to go long the stock is at $20.65. If triggered we'll target a rally into the $24-25 range. The P&F chart is still bullish with a $29 target. We do not want to hold over the late January earnings report.

Picked on December xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 01/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 598 thousand

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Norfolk So. Corp. - NSC - close: 43.45 chg: -1.38 stop: 42.49

The transportation stocks were immediately weak on Tuesday morning. The selling did pause and the sector index managed to rebound back into the green but not so for shares of NSC. Shares of railroad company NSC dipped to its rising 50-dma today and then managed a meager bounce. The session ended with a 3% decline. We've been warning readers for days now that January is normally not very kind to the transports. We suspect that today's weakness was fueled by strength in crude oil and probably some profit taking by investors both big and small. Some funds may have done some window undressing to free up some cash. Volume was very heavy today and that does not bode well for NSC. Normally a bounce from the bottom of a stock's rising channel would be a new bullish entry point but we are not suggesting new long positions here. Our target is the $48.50-49.00 range. The Point & Figure chart for NSC currently points to a $64 target. We do not want to hold over the late January earnings report.

Picked on December 22 at $44.35
Change since picked: - 0.90
Earnings Date 01/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.2 million

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Outback Steakhouse - OSI - close: 41.78 chg: +0.17 stop: 40.49

OSI is still struggling to breakout over its 200-dma near $42.00. We see no change from our previous update. More conservative traders may want to wait for a move over the 200-dma before considering new long positions. Our target is the $44.00-44.50 range.

Picked on December 23 at $41.55
Change since picked: + 0.23
Earnings Date 02/09/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 789 thousand

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VCA Antech - WOOF - close: 28.28 chg: +0.08 stop: 27.45

We see no change from our weekend update for WOOF. We will plan to exit ahead of the late January earnings report. Our target is the $29.90-30.00 range.

Picked on November 09 at $26.74
Change since picked: + 1.39
Earnings Date 01/24/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 436 thousand
 

Short Play Updates

GMX Resources - GMXR - close: 37.44 chg: +1.44 stop: 38.51

We suspected the bounce may not be over yet and we said as much over the weekend. However, we did not expect the big rally in the energy sector. The strength in crude oil and the squabble between Russia and the Ukraine over natural gas has revived interest in the energy stocks. This puts us in a dangerous position. The biggest risk to bears in GMXR is a short squeeze. The latest data put short interest at 12.8% of its 9.95 million shares outstanding. While a failed rally under $38 could be used as a bullish entry point we are not going to suggest new positions here. We are going to keep the play open for now since there is no way to know if Tuesday was a one-day fluke rally in the energy industries. More conservative traders may want to wait for a new decline under $35.00 before initiating positions. Our target will be the $30.50-30.00 range. We do not want to hold over the late January earnings report.

Picked on January 01 at $36.00
Change since picked: + 1.44
Earnings Date 01/29/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 256 thousand

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Network Appliance - NTAP - cls: 27.91 chg: +0.91 stop: 28.55

The NASDAQ Composite produced its biggest one-day gain in months so shares of NTAP were bounce to follow it higher given the stock's (NTAP) short-term oversold condition. We stated over the weekend update that we expected a bounce from the $27 level. The bounce did stall near the $28 level and its 10-dma. A drop back under $27.50 might be considered a new bearish entry point but we would be very careful about opening new short positions at this time. Our target is the $25.25-25.00 range since NTAP appears to have long-term support near the $25 region.

Picked on December 28 at $27.70
Change since picked: + 0.21
Earnings Date 02/15/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 4.3 million

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NeuroMetrix - NURO - close: 28.00 chg: +0.72 stop: 31.05

Volume has been a bit stronger than average over the last three days for NURO and we're surprised that the bounce today wasn't stronger. If NURO continues to rebound watch for a failed rally in the $29.00-29.40 range. We are not suggesting new plays at this time. We will try and reduce our risk by lowering the stop loss to $30.05. The P&F chart looks pretty bearish with a triple-bottom breakdown sell signal pointing to a $20 target. Our target is $25.25.

Picked on December 06 at $29.59
Change since picked: - 1.59
Earnings Date 01/27/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 210 thousand

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Starbucks - SBUX - close: 30.87 change: +0.86 stop: 31.01

Murphy's law is alive and well. SBUX almost hit both our trigger and our stop loss in the same day. The early morning strength faded enough for SBUX to trade under the $30 level and dip to our trigger at $29.90. The stock immediately rebounded higher after hitting our trigger to short the stock. The afternoon market rally helped push shares to $31.00. Overall volume came in above average and odds look good that SBUX will continue higher tomorrow. We are not suggesting new plays at this time and suspect we will be stopped out at $31.01 tomorrow. We wanted to use a relatively tight stop to keep our risk to a minimum.

Picked on January 03 at $29.90
Change since picked: + 0.97
Earnings Date 01/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.6 million

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Somanetics - SMTS - close: 29.20 change: -2.80 stop: 33.05 *new*

Tuesday proved to be a rough day for shares of SMTS. The stock lost another 8.7% on big volume about 3.4 times its daily average. The selling did stall near its rising 100-dma, which has been support in the past. Therefore we would not be surprised to see an oversold bounce tomorrow. We will try and reduce our risk by lowering the stop loss to $33.05. Our target is the $27.50-27.00 range. The biggest challenge and risk here may be the time frame. We do not want to hold over the January 11th (unconfirmed) earnings report. More conservative traders may want to seriously consider exiting right here for a gain.

Picked on December 29 at $32.45
Change since picked: - 3.25
Earnings Date 01/11/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 158 thousand

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Waters Corp. - WAT - close: 38.10 chg: +0.30 stop: 39.25

We do not see any change from our previous update on WAT. Given today's strength in the market indices we hesitate to suggest new shorts here. Our target is the $35.25-35.00 range. WAT's P&F chart points to a $25 target. We do not want to hold over the late January earnings report.

Picked on December 18 at $38.60
Change since picked: - 0.50
Earnings Date 01/24/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 901 thousand
 

Closed Long Plays

ANSYS Inc. - ANSS - close: 39.59 change: -3.10 stop: 41.49

What happened? That was the question today with ANSS. We searched several news sources and could find nothing to explain the 7.2% decline in shares of ANSS today. The stock opened weak and then just kept on sliding lower. The stock broke down below its previous trading range, below technical support at its 50-dma and below round-number support at $40.00. We would have been stopped out at $41.49.

Picked on December 22 at $44.05
Change since picked: - 4.46
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 153 thousand

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CenturyTel - CTL - close: 33.11 change: -0.05 stop: 32.75

The closing numbers certainly don't tell the whole story today. The stock appeared to open weak and sank to $32.65 before the market-wide rally helped lift the stock back above the $33 level. Somewhere in there was a bad tick to $34.10 painting an erroneous high for the day. We have been stopped out at $32.75.

Picked on December 12 at $33.55
Change since picked: - 0.44
Earnings Date 01/26/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 855 thousand

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Levitt - LEV - close: 25.00 chg: +2.26 stop: 21.95

Target achieved. The first trading day of 2006 proved to be a very bullish session for LEV. The stock gapped higher and began to march upward before the market-wide rally late this afternoon just poured gas on the fire. Shares of LEV shot up to $25.40 and broke through multiple levels of resistance. It is notable that the rally stalled at its simple 200-dma (25.45). Our target was the $24.90-25.00 range.

Picked on December 01 at $22.27
Change since picked: + 2.73
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 161 thousand
 

Closed Short Plays

Danaher - DHR - close: 56.36 change: +0.58 stop: 57.35

DHR tried to turn lower this morning but couldn't push through support near $55.00 with any conviction. The afternoon rebound left the stock poised to turn higher. We're choosing to exit early and cut our losses here.

Picked on December 18 at $55.79
Change since picked: + 0.57
Earnings Date 02/16/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.5 million
 

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