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Long Play Updates

Arkansas Best - ABFS - close: 41.40 chg: +0.76 stop: 40.75

A three-day rally in the Industrials and a bullish breakout in the Dow Transportation index has given new life to shares of ABFS. At least that is how it looks with the bounce from support near $39 at the bottom of its trading range. The Premier Investor newsletter is still sitting on the sidelines waiting for ABFS to hit our trigger. We're waiting for the stock to breakout through the top of its trading range and technical resistance at the 50-dma. Our entry point to go long is at $42.51. Until ABFS can trade there we'll sit out.


Picked on February x at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Gain since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 01/27/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 259 thousand


Agilysys - AGYS - close: 19.03 chg: +0.36 stop: 17.49 *new*

After five days of churning sideways and consolidating its gains from the previous week AGYS looks ready for another leg higher. We added the stock several days ago on the bullish breakout over heavy resistance at the $18.00 mark, which produced a triple-top breakout buy signal on its P&F chart. This Friday's move over the $19.00, which was resistance all week, looks like a new bullish entry point. Keep in mind that our target is the $20-21 region. We are going to raise our stop loss to $17.49.


Picked on February 16 at $18.39
Change since picked: + 0.64
Earnings Date 02/09/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 197 thousand


Benchmark Electronic - BHE - cls: 32.95 chg: +0.42 stop: 31.49

On your mark! Get set. BHE has rebounded from the $31 level and broken out over technical resistance at the 50-dma. Shares are currently still under resistance at $33.00 but we're expecting a move higher. The play is currently unopened as we wait for BHE to hit our trigger to go long at $33.51. Given the bullish technical oscillators that could happen soon. More aggressive players may want to consider jumping the gun and going long on a move over $33.20.


Picked on February xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Gain since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 02/08/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 453 thousand


Broadcom Corp - BRCM - close: 32.88 chg: +1.20 stop: 31.99

Hold on to your horses but it looks like the SOX semiconductor index has finally broken out over major resistance at its 200-weekly moving average. This average has been resistance for many months. A breakout here for the sector could spark some heavy short covering. Meanwhile BRCM is on the rebound as well. The stock added 3.78 percent on Friday after bouncing from its simple 100-dma, which was support in January. It doesn't hurt that the company recently announced a $250 million share buyback program. We currently have a trigger to go long at $34.55, which would surpass the early December highs. Until BRCM trades at our trigger or above we'll sit on the sidelines.


Picked on February xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Gain since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 01/27/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 9.2 million


Tesoro Corp - TSO - close: 36.76 chg: +1.43 stop: 32.00

Crude oil has surpassed the $50.00 a barrel mark and oil stocks have continued to hit new highs. On Friday the group got a boost when Prudential came out with positive comments for the sector. Shares of TSO are finally participating in the rally and have confidently broken out over resistance at the $35.00 level. Now maybe TSO can do a little catch up to bring its own gains in line with those of its peers. Our target remains the $39.50-40.00 region. Readers may want to watch for a dip back toward the $35.00-35.50 area as a potential entry point.


Picked on February 22 at $35.15
Change since picked: + 1.61
Earnings Date 02/03/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.0 million


Valassis Comm. - VCI - close: 37.26 chg: +0.48 stop: 34.75*new*

The breakout in VCI continues. On Tuesday VCI reported earnings and the stock broke through major, long-term resistance dating back to September of 1999. The rally has continued ever since. The stock got another boost when one analyst firm slapped an "out perform" on the stock following its earnings and breakout. We remain bullish and our target is the $40.00 region but traders might want to look for a pull back into the $36.00-36.50 region as a new entry point. We are raising our stop loss to $34.75.


Picked on February 23 at $36.12
Gain since picked: + 1.14
Earnings Date 02/22/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 337 thousand


Waters Corp - WAT - close: 49.40 change: +0.42 stop: 47.75

It was a close call there earlier in the week but WAT held above technical support at its rising 50-dma and the $48.00 level. The bounce from support has produced a new bullish entry point although it may be prudent to wait for WAT to clear the $50.00 mark before initiating positions.


Picked on February 2 at $50.20
Gain since picked: - 0.80
Earnings Date 01/27/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 643 thousand


Wheeling-Pittsburgh - WPSC - cls: 42.15 chg: +2.02 stop: 35.95

The stocks in the steel industry continue to climb and seeing the commodities index hit a new 24-year high on Friday certainly suggest the economy is picking up. After a few days of consolidating under the $40.00 level WPSC broke out with a five-percent rally on Friday. The stock actually closed at a new all-time high above its late December peak. This is good news and should alleviate fears of a potential double-top. It may be worth noting that the P&F chart, with its buy signal, has seen the project price target rise from $51 to $57. Short-term players may want to consider exiting now for a profit. We're going to hold out for a move into the $44-45 region. Don't forget that we plan to exit before WPSC's mid-March earnings report.


Picked on February 20 at $40.07
Gain since picked: + 2.08
Earnings Date 03/14/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 122 thousand

Short Play Updates

Anheuser Busch - BUD - close: 47.52 chg: -0.05 stop: 50.11

When the market is in rally mode, like it is now, the best we can hope for from our short plays is under performance. Fortunately, that's exactly what we're getting from shares of BUD. The stock has completely ignored the Dow's 200+ gain in the last three days and shares continue to look vulnerable. Just remember we're still looking at another six to eight weeks to hit our target of $43-44.


Picked on February 7 at $48.32
Gain since picked: - 0.80
Earnings Date 02/02/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.4 million


Cisco Systems - CSCO - close: 17.20 chg: +0.02 stop: 18.26

The same can be said for CSCO. The tech bellwether has ignored the two-day bounce in the NASDAQ, which is exactly what we would want to see from a short/bearish candidate. We would still consider new positions here but if you're looking for alternative consider a breakdown under $17.00 or a failed rally under $18.00. There is no change with its P&F chart and its quadruple-bottom breakdown sell signal and $14.50 target. Our target remains at the $15.00 level.


Picked on February 20 at $17.30
Gain since picked: - 0.10
Earnings Date 01/27/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 61.1 million


IAC/InterActiveCorp - IACI - close: 22.61 chg: +0.23 stop: 24.51

It may look like IACI is trying to bounce but the stock is definitely under performing the rest of the market. We remain bearish on the stock but readers may want to watch for a failed rally near the $23.00 level, which should be resistance. If you prefer to play a momentum-based entry look for IACI to produce a new relative low under $21.70.


Picked on February 22 at $21.95
Change since picked: + 0.66
Earnings Date 02/16/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 4.4 million


NY Times - NYT - close: 37.01 chg: -0.01 stop: 38.61

So far so good. With the Industrials up three days in a row we have to be happy with NYT choosing not to participate in the rally. Instead the stock looks vulnerable to more selling. Readers can choose to enter new plays at current levels or wait for a new relative low. Just remember to be careful about entering bearish positions if the Dow and S&P 500 breakout over their December highs.

Picked on February 20 at $37.20
Gain since picked: - 0.19
Earnings Date 01/25/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 516 thousand

Closed Long PLays

Dow Chemical - DOW - close: 56.24 change: +0.84 stop: 51.95

Target achieved! Actually DOW has surpassed our target at the $56.00 level. Another day of strength in the broader indices helped fuel DOW to another new all-time high. If you haven't exited yet be careful and consider using a tight stop loss. DOW, while looking very strong, still looks over extended and due for another dip potentially to its simple 10-dma. We are closing the play at $56.00.


Picked on February 11 at $52.01
Gain since picked: + 4.23
Earnings Date 01/27/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.5 million

Closed Short Plays

None today

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