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Long Play Updates

Alexander & Baldwin - ALEX - cls: 51.00 chg: -1.22 stop: 49.49

Shares of ALEX were hit with some pre-Labor day weekend profit taking on Friday. We mentioned looking for a pull back toward the $51.00 level and now we got it. However, looking at the intraday chart for ALEX has us thinking that the dip isn't over yet. We would keep an eye on the simple 50-dma near $50.30 as the next level of support. Actually a rebound anywhere above the $50.00 level could be used as a new bullish entry point. Our target is the $56-57 range.

Picked on August 31 at $52.41
Change since picked: - 1.41
Earnings Date 07/27/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 310 thousand


Ryerson Tull - RT - close: 21.08 change: +0.19 stop: 18.99

Shares of fabricated metal producer RT continue to set new five-year highs. We suspect that investors are bidding up the stock on the expectation that RT will benefit from the rebuilding process from hurricane Katrina. Technically RT looks pretty good with the breakout from its five-week trading range and a new buy signal on its MACD indicator. Our target is the $23.50-24.00 range but readers still looking for an entry point might hope for a pull back toward the $20.50 region and buy a bounce there.

Picked on August 31 at $20.54
Change since picked: + 0.54
Earnings Date 07/28/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 486 thousand


Smithfield Foods - SFD - close: 28.06 chg: -0.02 stop: 26.85*new

Next week could be significant for SFD. The stock has spent the last few days consolidating its post-earnings breakout higher. However, the recent trading action has shares of SFD coiling for what looks like another potential breakout through technical resistance at its 100-dma and exponential 200-dma at the $28.25 mark. Our target is the $29.25-29.50 range near its simple 200-dma. We are raising the stop loss to $26.85.

Picked on August 25 at $27.61
Change since picked: + 0.45
Earnings Date 08/25/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 825 thousand

Short Play Updates

Anheuser Busch - BUD - cls: 45.09 chg: +0.69 stop: 46.25

After weeks of putting us to sleep shares of BUD have finally produced some excitement. Unfortunately, it's the wrong kind of excitement. The stock is breaking out to the upside from its four-week trading range above support at the $44.00 level. This could spell bad news for shorts now that BUD has closed above technical resistance at its simple 50-dma near $45.00. Yet we're not going to panic just yet. BUD has tons of overhead resistance and its long-term trend is still very bearish. Only if BUD trades over the $45.50 level will we begin to consider an early exit. The next level of technical resistance is the 100-dma near $46.00. Oddly enough we can't find any news or catalyst to account for Friday's gain. Is it the start of football season here in the States that has prompted investors to bet on BUD? Or is it just the market turning defensive as we head into the worst month of the year for stocks.

Picked on July 28 at $44.77
Change since picked: + 0.32
Earnings Date 07/27/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.3 million


Costco Wholesale - COST - close: 43.16 chg: -0.02 stop: 44.60

The consolidation in shares of COST is narrowing. That has us thinking that a move, one way or the over, is just around the corner. The overall trend in the stock is bearish but we have to keep an eye on the RLX retail index, which is also showing weakness but looking pretty short-term oversold and near support at its 200-dma. We are continuing to suggest that readers looking for a new entry point in COST wait for another decline under the $42.50 level. Remember, the overall trend is bearish but COST is nearing a trendline of long-term support on its weekly chart and that's why we're not seeing much follow through on the early August breakdown. It's also why we're trying to keep our stop loss relatively tight. The P&F chart might point to a $33 target but we are only targeting a move into the $40.50-40.00 range.

Picked on August 24 at $43.33
Change since picked: - 0.17
Earnings Date 10/06/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.8 million


Intl Game Tech. - IGT - cls: 26.98 chg: -0.32 stop: 28.01

Is it for real? This past week IGT has displayed some volatility. The stock broke out to the upside from its 26.50-27.00 trading range. Yet the rally stalled under resistance at $28.00 and its simple 50-dma. This looks like a new bearish entry point and short-term oscillators like the RSI and stochastics would seem to confirm that IGT is indeed headed lower. The longer-term weekly chart also shows a bearish MACD sell signal and its P&F chart is very bearish projecting a $13 price target. We are going to cautiously suggest new bearish positions here but traders already know that IGT has support near $26.50. We are targeting the $24.50-24.00 range.

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: 23.16 chg: +0.14 stop: 24.01

Is the oversold bounce over? JNPR was hitting new relative lows earlier in the week but managed to bounce back and break out back above what should have been resistance at the $23.00 level. The overall trend remains bearish and this could prove to be a new bearish entry point but readers might feel more comfortable waiting for JNPR to decline back under the $23.00 mark before initiating new short positions. The P&F chart remains very bearish with a $9.00 price target. Our target is the $21.50 level, which lines up with the Head and shoulders pattern target.

Picked on July 21 at $23.90
Change since picked: - 0.74
Earnings Date 07/19/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 7.5 million


Royal Caribbean - RCL - cls: 41.91 chg: -0.01 stop: 45.01

RCL still looks weak and the stock is nearing our target in the $41.25-41.00 range. We are not suggesting new plays at this time. Instead traders can prepare to exit. More conservative investors may want to consider exiting now to lock in profits.

Picked on July 27 at $45.50
Change since picked: - 3.59
Earnings Date 07/27/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.3 million


Wal-Mart - WMT - close: 44.55 change: -0.45 stop: 47.01 *new*

We are honestly surprised at just how weak shares of WMT have been. We keep expecting an oversold bounce any day now and it just doesn't appear. Investors are worried about the one-two punch that Katrina will have on WMT. Not only will the company lose sales for its closed stores across the south but the rising price of fuel will affect sales across the rest of the nation. We are lowering our stop loss to $47.01. Our late September target is the $42.25-42.00 range.

Picked on August 24 at $45.95
Change since picked: - 1.40
Earnings Date 08/16/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.2 million


Yahoo! Inc. - YHOO - close: 33.17 change: -0.07 stop: 34.81

The consolidation in shares of YHOO is narrowing and we believe the stock is poised to breakdown to new lows next week. Readers can choose to open short positions here or instead wait for a new relative low under $32.65, where YHOO has bounced twice in the past six weeks. The Point & Figure chart currently points to a $30.00 target. We agree. Our target is the $30.50 mark, which is near the February and March lows.

Picked on August 30 at $33.18
Change since picked: - 0.01
Earnings Date 10/18/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 17.1 million

Closed Long Plays


Closed Short Plays

Quest Diagnostic - DGX - close: 50.26 change: +0.06 stop: 50.51

Our somewhat aggressive, short-term trading play in DGX is over. We tried to keep our risk at a minimum with a tight stop. Unfortunately, DGX spiked intraday to $50.61 hitting our stop loss at $50.51. Readers may want to keep an eye on DGX for future trades. The stock is stuck in a trading range between $49.00 and $51.00. A breakout either way could be used as a potential entry point for a long or a short.

Picked on August 28 at $49.65
Change since picked: + 0.61
Earnings Date 07/25/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 904 thousand


Sonic Corp - SONC - close: 28.76 chg: -0.23 stop: 32.01

Target achieved. The sell-off continued this past Friday and shares of SONC sank to $27.98 before traders stepped in to buy the dip near support at the bottom of its descending channel. Our target was $28.00. Normally, a bounce from the bottom of the channel could be used as a bullish entry point but we would be cautious here if you're thinking about trading the bounce.

Picked on August 24 at $30.39
Change since picked: - 1.63
Earnings Date 09/26/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 537 thousand

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