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Play Editor's Note: Volume has been extremely light this week, which is to be expected during the holidays. Unfortunately, it makes our job as traders tougher. Monday is not going to be any different. It will be a full day of trading but it will probably be a lackluster day at best. We're not loading up on a lot of new plays since we should really wait to see how the market reacts on Wednesday, when most market participants should be back to work. Jim's market outlook is flat to down next week so we're adding some shorts. FYI: Another stock we're watching as a potential short is SNDK.

New Long Plays

None today.

New Short Plays

First Community Bancorp - FCBP - cls: 40.80 chg: +0.38 stop: 43.26

Company Description:
First Community Bancorp is a bank holding company with $5.1 billion in assets as of September 30, 2007, with one wholly-owned banking subsidiary, Pacific Western Bank. Through 60 full-service community banking branches, Pacific Western provides commercial banking services, including real estate, construction and commercial loans, to small and medium-sized businesses. (source: company press release or website)

Why We Like It:
Financial stocks are still out of favor with investors. The markets are still worried about the credit crunch and the sub-prime crisis neither of which are close to being over. Shares of FCBP spent months trading sideways before breaking down in October. Now the stock has more recently broken down from another consolidation phase in November-December. We will try and limit our risk with a stop loss just above last week's highs. Our first target is the $35.25-35.00 range. Our second target is the $32.00-30.00 zone. The P&F chart is bearish with a $30 target. FYI: We do not want to hold over the late January earnings report.

Picked on December 30 at $40.80
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 01/28/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 416 thousand


NII Holdings - NIHD - close: 47.59 change: -0.04 stop: 50.05

Company Description:
NII Holdings, Inc., a publicly held company based in Reston, Va., is a leading provider of mobile communications for business customers in Latin America. NII Holdings, Inc. has operations in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Chile. (source: company press release or website)

Why We Like It:
NIHD broke down from a consolidation pattern about three weeks ago and then bounced right back toward resistance in the $48-50 zone. Now that bounce is beginning to fade and NIHD looks poised to begin a new leg lower. We're going to start the play with a stop loss at $50.05 but looking more closely at the intraday chart more conservative traders might be able to get away with a stop near $49.26 instead. The P&F chart is bearish with a $29 target. We are going to aim for the recent lows in the $43.00-42.50 range. More aggressive traders could aim for the $40 level.

Picked on December 30 at $47.59
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 02/25/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 4.3 million

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