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Long Play Updates

Smithfield Foods - SFD - close: 27.68 change: -0.48 stop: 26.35

SFD hit some profit taking today after damage reports from Hurricane Katrina turned the markets lower. Should shares of SFD pull back further we'd look to the $27.00 level to act as support. A bounce from $27.00 could be used as a new bullish entry point.

Picked on August 25 at $27.61
Change since picked: + 0.07
Earnings Date 08/25/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 825 thousand

Short Play Updates

Anheuser Busch - BUD - cls: 44.46 chg: +0.18 stop: 46.25

No change from our weekend update on BUD. Our goal is the $40.00 region before its October earnings report.

Picked on July 28 at $44.77
Change since picked: - 0.31
Earnings Date 07/27/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.3 million


Costco Wholesale - COST - close: 43.04 chg: -0.37 stop: 44.60

COST turned lower with the rest of the retailers, which were being sold off as investors worried about the rising cost of fuel and the impact on consumers. Yet we're surprised that COST didn't show more weakness today. The stock managed to bounce from its short-term support near $42.50. The overall trend remains bearish. We are targeting the $40.50-40.00 range.

Picked on August 24 at $43.33
Change since picked: - 0.29
Earnings Date 10/06/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.8 million


Quest Diagnostic - DGX - close: 49.92 change: -0.52 stop: 50.51

The Katrina-inspired market weakness today probably had a large part in saving DGX from hitting our stop loss. The stock turned lower and is now trading under the $50.00 mark and its simple 200-dma again. We would probably not open new short positions until DGX traded back under $49.50 (or today's low at 49.48). Our target is the $47.50 level.

Picked on August 28 at $49.65
Change since picked: + 0.27
Earnings Date 07/25/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 904 thousand


Freeport Mcmoran - FCX - close: 41.16 chg: +0.36 stop: 42.01

FCX rebounded higher for the second session in a row but we are still watching the $41.50 level to act as overhead resistance. We would not suggest new bearish positions at this time. Watch for a new decline back under the $40.00 level.

Picked on August 29 at $39.65
Change since picked: + 1.51
Earnings Date 07/19/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.2 million


Intl Game Tech. - IGT - cls: 27.44 chg: +0.42 stop: 28.01

IGT is not cooperating and today's unusual show of strength and breakout from its recent trading range is a cause for concern if you're short. More conservative traders may want to consider an early exit. We're going to let our stop do the work for us at $28.01 since IGT still has technical resistance at its simple 50-dma near 27.89.

Picked on July 21 at $27.21
Change since picked: + 0.23
Earnings Date 07/21/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.3 million


Juniper Networks - JNPR - cls: 22.62 chg: -0.20 stop: 24.01

JNPR hit new relative lows again on Tuesday and volume appears to be rising on this new weakness. We would watch for a bounce back toward the $23.00 level, which should act as new overhead resistance. Our target is the $21.50 level.

Picked on July 21 at $23.90
Change since picked: - 1.28
Earnings Date 07/19/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 7.5 million


Jos. A. Bank - JOSB - close: 39.26 change: +0.01 stop: 40.01

JOSB sold off at the open but managed to climb back to break even on a surge of buying late this afternoon. Considering the weakness in the retail sector today JOSB's fractional gain is a show of relative strength. The short-term pattern does not look good if you're short the stock. We're not suggesting new plays here. Keep a close eye on what should be resistance at its simple 100-dma (39.73) and the $40.00 mark.

Picked on August 16 at $39.95
Change since picked: - 0.69
Earnings Date 09/06/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 297 thousand


Royal Caribbean - RCL - cls: 43.41 chg: -0.55 stop: 46.01

The good news today is that RCL did not produce any sort of follow through on yesterday's potentially bullish reversal. Instead the stock lost another 1.25%. Our target is the $41.25-41.00 range.

Picked on July 27 at $45.50
Change since picked: - 2.09
Earnings Date 07/27/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.3 million


Sonic Corp - SONC - close: 30.84 chg: -0.95 stop: 32.01

We have good news to report here with SONC. The recent bounce appears to have failed and the overall pattern of a descending channel is still in play. Readers can choose to open new positions following today's 3% decline or wait for more confirmation with a drop under last week's low of $30.29 or wait for a drop under the $30.00 mark.

Picked on August 24 at $30.39
Change since picked: + 0.45
Earnings Date 09/26/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 537 thousand


Wal-Mart - WMT - close: 45.19 change: -0.46 stop: 48.01

We had been expecting a bounce back toward WMT's simple 10-dma but reaction to hurricane Katrina and the aftermath of the storm sent shares lower. Investors are still worried about the impact of rising fuel costs on consumers and $70.00 a barrel for oil doesn't improve matters. Plus, the hurricane has left at least 70 Wal-Mart stores close in the gulf region so the company is losing potential sales each day their closed. Our late September target is the $42.25-42.00 range.

Picked on August 24 at $45.95
Change since picked: - 0.76
Earnings Date 08/16/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.2 million

Closed Long Plays


Closed Short Plays

Assured Guaranty - AGO - close: 22.55 chg: +0.23 stop: 22.55

Bucking the trend in the markets and the insurance sector, shares of AGO added another one percent to breakout through the top of its recent trading range. We have been stopped out at $22.55. If you're feeling adventurous the technicals on AGO have turned positive and this could be used as a short-term bullish entry point although the simple 50-dma still overhead is bound to be short-term resistance.

Picked on August 10 at $22.39
Change since picked: + 0.16
Earnings Date 08/04/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 229 thousand


Xilinx - XLNX - close: 27.60 chg: +0.03 stop: 28.01

Shares of semiconductor stock XLNX are showing too much relative strength for our liking. The technical pattern is starting to turn bullish again. We're choosing to exit early before XLNX stops us out.

Picked on August 04 at $27.91
Change since picked: - 0.31
Earnings Date 07/21/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 6.1 million

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