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Long Play Updates

Burlington Coat - BCF - close: 38.56 chg: +0.36 stop: 36.45

The retailing stocks produced another strong day as the RLX index added 2.5% to breakout over resistance near 440 and its simple 200-dma. Lifting the group was new hope that the upcoming holiday shopping season may not be so bad. Helping that perspective was good news from WMT who raised their same-store sales guidance. Shares of BCF only added 0.9% and remains under resistance near $39 and its simple 100-dma. We remain bullish on BCF but more conservative traders may want to wait for a move over $39 before going long. Our target is the $43.50-44.00 range.

Picked on October 24 at $38.90
Change since picked: - 0.34
Earnings Date 10/06/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 165 thousand

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HR Block - HRB - close: 24.86 change: +0.30 stop: 23.49*new*

The market's follow through on Friday's rally helped HRB produce some follow through of its own. The stock added 1.2% and broke through resistance at its simple 50-dma. Our target is the simple 200-dma near $25.80. We are raising our stop loss to $23.49.

Picked on October 23 at $24.09
Change since picked: + 0.77
Earnings Date 11/17/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.1 million

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Outback Stkhse - OSI - close: 37.28 chg: +1.03 stop: 35.75*new*

It's alive! OSI is back from a three-day decline. Friday's bounce from the $36 region (36.26 is close enough) looks like a new bullish entry point. The stock is still oversold from its three-month decline. Our target is the $39.90-40.00 range. We are raising our stop loss to $35.75.

Picked on October 23 at $37.21
Change since picked: + 0.07
Earnings Date 10/20/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 819 thousand

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Patterson Companies - PDCO - close: 41.37 chg: +0.52 stop: 38.99

Today's gain marked a nice follow through on PDCO's breakout from Friday. Traders can choose to go long the stock above $41.00 or hope for a pull back toward the $40.50 region and buy a bounce there. Our target is the $44-45 range. We do expect some resistance at its 100-dma (41.79) but we don't expect it to last. We will plan to exit before the company announces earnings in late November.

Picked on October 30 at $40.85
Change since picked: + 0.52
Earnings Date 11/24/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.2 million
 

Short Play Updates

Elkcorp - ELK - close: 31.63 chg: +0.63 stop: 32.51

The market strength does not bode well for our bearish play in ELK. The stock is testing resistance near $32.00. A breakout over $32 might be seen as a short-term bullish signal. We are not suggesting new plays at this time although if the market turns south then more aggressive traders might want to consider shorts if ELK trades under $31.00. Conservative traders can watch for a breakdown under $30.00 as a new entry point.

Picked on October 27 at $30.49
Change since picked: + 1.14
Earnings Date 10/21/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 205 thousand

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Mentor Graphics - MENT - close: 8.27 chg: +0.23 stop: 8.36

We remain on the sidelines. MENT has been stuck in a trading range between $7.85 and $9.00 for months. Our trigger to short the stock is at $7.80. If triggered we'll target a decline to the $6.55 mark.

Picked on October xx at $xx.xx <-- see Trigger
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 10/20/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 713 thousand

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Sanderson Farms - SAFM - close: 34.51 chg: +1.16 stop: 36.11

Today's action looks like an oversold bounce that has been exaggerated by the positive markets. Unfortunately, today's gain also represents a potential bullish buy signal following Friday's inside day. The test will be to see if resistance holds near $35.00 and its simple 10-dma. We're also curious to see how SAFM reacts to news out today that migratory birds in Canada have been found with a H5 flu virus, since it sounds like a cousin to the more deadly H5N1 virus.

Picked on October 23 at $35.17
Change since picked: - 0.66
Earnings Date 12/07/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 257 thousand
 

Closed Long Plays

Network Appl. - NTAP - close: 27.33 chg: +0.21 stop: 24.49

Target achieved! Another strong day in the tech sector helped push NTAP high enough to hit its simple 200-dma at $27.50. Our recently adjusted target was the $27.35-27.45 range.

Picked on October 16 at $25.12
Change since picked: + 2.21
Earnings Date 11/16/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.9 million
 

Closed Short Plays

Educ. Mgmt. Corp. - EDMC - close: 30.84 chg: +0.92 stop: 31.05

We have been stopped out. We cannot find the news or catalyst behind the move but for some reason shares of EDMC suddenly surged higher midday today and crossed short-term resistance at the $31.00 level. Our stop was $31.05.

Picked on October 26 at $29.73
Change since picked: + 1.11
Earnings Date 11/08/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 493 thousand
 

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