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Long Play Updates

ANSYS Inc. - ANSS - close: 45.09 change: +0.76 stop: 40.89

ANSS' rallied continued into Friday with shares adding 1.7% on above average volume. The stock had spent the last seven weeks consolidating sideways between $40 and $44 so shares are ready and rested for a new leg higher. The strong volume on the rally this past week is bullish and its MACD indicator has produced a new buy signal. The Point & Figure chart points to a $60 target. Readers can choose to go long here or wait for a possible dip back into the $44.50-44.00 range. Broken resistance at $44.00 should now act as new support. Our target is the $49.00-50.00 range by the end of January. We do not want to hold over the early February earnings report.

Picked on December 22 at $44.05
Change since picked: + 1.04
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 153 thousand

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Anglogold - AU - close: 48.01 change: -0.44 stop: 44.95

Gold managed to retain its position above $500 an ounce but the rally in AU stalled. The stock looks poised to retreat back toward the $46.50 level. We are not suggesting new longs at this time and more conservative traders may want to exit early right here for a gain. Our target is the $49.50-50.00 range.

Picked on December 06 at $44.81
Change since picked: + 3.20
Earnings Date 01/27/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 904 thousand

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CenturyTel Inc. - CTL - close: 33.45 change: +0.07 stop: 32.39

It has been a relatively quiet week for CTL. The stock did fall through technical support at the 200-dma earlier this past week but since then the stock has been very slowly inching higher in a mostly sideways consolidation. We hesitate to suggest new bullish positions here. However, if the major averages do produce a Santa Claus rally next week then watch for a move over $33.75 as a new bullish entry point. Our target is the $36.00 level by CTL's January earnings report, which we do not want to hold over.

Picked on December 12 at $33.55
Change since picked: - 0.12
Earnings Date 01/26/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 855 thousand

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D.R.Horton - DHI - close: 36.21 chg: -0.64 stop: 34.75

Bullish traders need to turn more cautious here! Homebuilders were hit with more selling on Friday after the new home sales report for November came in negative. The DJUSHB home construction index lost 1.19% and DHI lost 1.7%. The decline in new home sales really shouldn't be a surprise since November and December are pretty slow months for the industry anyway. The DJUSHB index still has support at its 200-dma near 926 and additional support at the 920 level. The fact that DHI managed to hold support at the $36.00 level is positive. However, Friday's decline did put DHI's closing price under its eight-week trend of higher lows (a.k.a. support, see chart). After the December 15th failed rally near $38.50 we would be very careful here. We are not suggesting new positions. Our target for DHI is the $39.75-40.00 range.

Picked on November 21 at $35.85
Change since picked: + 0.36
Earnings Date 11/16/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.2 million

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Duke Energy - DUK - close: 27.83 change: +0.14 stop: 26.89 *new*

Utility stocks out performed their energy brethren on Friday but not by much. Shares of DUK managed to out perform most of its peers with a 0.5% gain and a new three-month high. The stock is very close to our $27.95-28.00 target. We are not suggesting new positions here. We are raising the stop to breakeven at $26.89.

Picked on December 13 at $26.89
Change since picked: + 0.94
Earnings Date 02/01/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.9 million


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Forest Oil - FST - close: 46.24 change: -0.05 stop: 44.89

FST may have posted another loss on Friday but the session was more bullish than bearish with the second bounce in a week from the $45.40 region. If FST can trade over $47.30 again we might be tempted to suggest new bullish positions. Unfortunately it looks like FST's inverted/bullish head-and-shoulders pattern has been thwarted by the overhead trendline of resistance. Currently we are not suggesting new plays.

Picked on December 02 at $47.01
Change since picked: - 0.77
Earnings Date 02/09/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.1 million

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JDS Uniphase - JDSU - close: 2.51 change: -0.02 stop 2.39

JDSU is a new play from the Thursday night newsletter. We do not see any changes from our play description so we're reposting it here:

It feels like a long time ago when the stock symbol JDSU used to stand for "Just Don't Sell Us". Shares of JDSU may never again achieve the heights it scaled back in 1999 and 2000 but that doesn't mean nimble traders can make a buck or two on it now. Over the spring and summer JDSU produced a solid base (or bottom) in the $1.40-1.80 range. This past September the stock broke out and has been climbing in a wide, rising channel ever since. Tuesday's low and Wednesday's bounce looks like a rebound from the bottom of JDSU's rising channel. We see this as a technical entry point to buy a rebound from support. Unfortunately, volume has been pretty low lately and today's early strength faded. We are going to suggest a trigger at $2.65 to go long. If triggered we'll exit at $2.98. There is resistance at $2.80 but we expect JDSU to push past it. Currently the Point & Figure chart for JDSU points to a $5.00 target. We would qualify this as an aggressive play.

Picked on December xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 01/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 50.0 million

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Levitt - LEV - close: 22.54 chg: -0.05 stop: 21.95 *new*

LEV is still consolidating sideways. The upward momentum has stalled after the stock failed to breakout over its descending 100-dma. We've been expecting a dip toward the $22.00 level and it occurred this past Wednesday. If the stock can rally back above the 22.70 or 22.75 levels we'd consider initiating new long positions. Our target is the $24.90-25.00 range. We are going to raise our stop loss to $21.95.

Picked on December 01 at $22.27
Change since picked: + 0.27
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 161 thousand

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Nautilus - NLS - close: 19.22 change: +0.05 stop: 18.75 *new*

The pull back to the $19.00 level looks like a new bullish entry point in NLS. The stock is still deeply oversold from its July-November sell-off. More conservative traders may want to wait for a move over $19.30-19.35 before starting new positions. NLS appears to be building a new rising channel and shares are currently near support. We are raising the stop loss to $18.75. Our target is the $21.50 level.

Picked on December 11 at $18.81
Change since picked: + 0.41
Earnings Date 02/01/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 598 thousand

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Norfolk So. Corp. - NSC - close: 45.20 chg: +0.85 stop: 42.34

NSC is a new bullish candidate from the Thursday night newsletter. Friday's action saw the stock soared 1.9% to a new all-time closing high over last month's resistance. The move also produced a new MACD buy signal. If you read this weekend's market wrap then you know that Jim does not have a bullish forecast for the transportation sector. While NSC may endure any first quarter sell-off better than its peers we may still want to exit early. Keep this in mind if you're considering new long plays here. We will play this stock cautiously and plan to exit earlier than normal but hopefully next week will give NSC a chance to rally toward the top of its channel, especially if the fund managers decide to do any end-of-quarter window dressing. Our end of January target is the $48.50-49.00 range. The Point & Figure chart for NSC currently points to a $64 target. We do not want to hold over the late January earnings report. FYI: the stock is now up four days in a row and it might be time for a dip. Watch the $44 level to act as short-term support.

Picked on December 22 at $44.35
Change since picked: + 0.85
Earnings Date 01/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.2 million

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Outback Steakhouse - OSI - close: 41.28 chg: +0.14 stop: 40.49

We didn't have to wait very long for OSI to hit our trigger. The stock climbed to $41.71 on Friday and our trigger to go long the stock was at $41.55, above technical resistance at its exponential 200-dma and price resistance at $41.50. Technical indicators inched closer to more bullish signals. Friday's inability to hold its gains may be an issue. More conservative traders might want to wait for a close over $41.50 or $41.73 before going long. Now that we're triggered our target is the $44.00-44.50 range. OSI appears to have long-term resistance near $45.00. FYI: we wouldn't be surprised to see a dip to $41.20 to fill the gap from Friday morning.

Picked on December 23 at $41.55
Change since picked: - 0.27
Earnings Date 02/09/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 789 thousand

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VCA Antech - WOOF - close: 27.98 chg: +0.32 stop: 26.74

The technical picture on WOOF is improving but the stock is still stuck in a sideways trading range between $27.50 and $28.50. Friday's gain is encouraging but we are not suggesting new bullish positions here. We will plan to exit ahead of the late January earnings report. Our target is the $29.90-30.00 range.

Picked on November 09 at $26.74
Change since picked: + 1.24
Earnings Date 01/24/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 436 thousand
 

Short Play Updates

Danaher - DHR - close: 55.71 change: +0.29 stop: 57.35

DHR is starting to produce a short-term oversold bounce. We would not suggest new positions here. The stock will probably rally toward short-term resistance in the $56.50 near the 10-dma or reach up to the $57 level. A failed rally at either region could be used as a new bearish entry point. Traders should weigh their need to be in the market (and short) against the possibility of a Santa Claus rally showing up. Our target for DHR is the $51.25-51.00 range.

Picked on December 18 at $55.79
Change since picked: - 0.08
Earnings Date 02/16/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.5 million

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NeuroMetrix - NURO - close: 27.08 chg: -0.75 stop: 31.05 *new*

NURO continues to show relative weakness. The stock lost another 2.69% on Friday and set a new three-month closing low. We are not suggesting new bearish positions here. We are also adjusting our stop loss and target. The new target will be $25.25. NURO may eventually dip to its simple 200-dma (currently near $23) but there is a good chance the stock may produce a stronger oversold bounce from round-number support near $25.00. We are lowering our stop loss to $31.05.

Picked on December 06 at $29.59
Change since picked: - 2.51
Earnings Date 01/27/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 210 thousand

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Waters Corp. - WAT - close: 38.08 chg: +0.05 stop: 39.25*new*

It looks like traders in WAT have taken a little holiday break. The stock hasn't moved much in the last four sessions. Shares remain in their bearish trend of lower highs but we hesitate to suggest new shorts here. The next seven sessions tend to be the most bullish time of the year. We're going to try and protect ourselves by lowering the stop loss to $39.25. Our target is the $35.25-35.00 range. We do not want to hold over the late January earnings report.

Picked on December 18 at $38.60
Change since picked: - 0.52
Earnings Date 01/24/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 901 thousand
 

Closed Long Plays

None
 

Closed Short Plays

None
 

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