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Long Play Updates

Advance Auto Parts - AAP - close: 43.51 chg: -0.86 stop: 43.69

Tuesday proved to be a challenging day for the markets and AAP was no exception with a 1.9% decline on volume slightly above average. Today's decline pulled the MACD into a new sell signal. We are going to keep AAP as a bullish candidate on the list for now. Our trigger to go long the stock is at $45.05, above resistance at the $45.00 level. We'll abandon the play if AAP closes under the 50-dma. If triggered we'll target a rally into the $48.00-49.00 range. This play might be considered more aggressive than normal because of our time frame. We do not want to hold over the early February earnings report.

Picked on January xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 891 thousand

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Amer. Power Conv. - APCC - cls: 23.23 chg: -0.12 stop: 22.90

Reaction to the earnings news tonight from IBM, INTC, and YHOO doesn't bode well for the markets tomorrow. More conservative traders may want to bail out of APCC before we get stopped out at $22.90. We're choosing to keep the play open. The stock has been somewhat resilient and thus far has not broken support at the $23.00 level. We would not suggest new long positions at this time. We do not want to hold over the early February earnings report.

Picked on January 08 at $23.57
Change since picked: - 0.34
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.5 million

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Bluelinx - BXC - close: 12.60 change: -0.25 stop: 11.45

The intraday bounce in BXC from its lows at $12.11 near the 10-dma and above what should be support at $12.00 looks like a new bullish entry point. However, traders may want to hesitate before opening new long positions until we see how the market reacts to tonight's earnings news from IBM, INTC, and YHOO. Our target for BXC is the $15.00-15.50 range by late February through early March. FYI - the P&F chart points to a $25 target.

Picked on January 10 at $12.47
Change since picked: + 0.13
Earnings Date 03/09/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 142 thousand

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Evergreen Solar - ESLR - close: 12.95 change: +0.69 stop: 10.99

Soaring oil prices make solar energy companies like ESLR more attractive. The stock added 5.6% today on volume well above its daily average. Our target is the $13.90-14.00 range. It would be tempting to aim higher but we do not want to hold over the company's earnings February earnings report.

Picked on January 10 at $12.25
Change since picked: + 0.70
Earnings Date 02/03/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.4 million

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LifeCell Corp. - LIFC - cls: 22.91 change: +1.13 stop: 19.99*new*

LIFC continued to rally today. The stock added 5.1% on strong volume after an analyst firm reiterated their "buy" rating and upped their price target to $25 for LIFC. We are raising our stop loss to $19.99. More conservative traders may want to just exit right here for a gain with LIFC up more than 10% from our trigger. Our target is the $24.00-25.00 range but we don't want to hold over the January earnings report and that doesn't give us a lot of time.

Picked on January 11 at $20.65
Change since picked: + 2.27
Earnings Date 01/24/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 598 thousand

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Nexen Inc. - NXY - close: 53.89 change: +3.25 stop: 47.95

NXY responded positively to the rise in crude oil today. The stock gapped higher, probably due to short covering, and shares closed at a new high. This could be used as a new bullish entry point but patient traders might want to wait and see if NXY fills the gap from this morning first. Our target is the $57.50-58.00 range by mid February.

Picked on January 11 at $52.11
Change since picked: + 1.78
Earnings Date 02/17/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 424 thousand

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Patterson-UTI - PTEN - close: 36.92 change: +0.74 stop: 33.85

We have been triggered. The OSX oil services index added 1.58% today. Shares of PTEN out performed most of its peers with a 2% gain and a breakout to a new all-time high. Our trigger to go long the stock was at $36.85. As expected the P&F chart has produced a new triple-top breakout buy signal. Our target is the $39.85-40.00 range. We do not want to hold over the earnings report. Unfortunately, we can't find a good date for PTEN's upcoming announcement. Some sources say January 26th other say the 31st, while other suggest PTEN will report earnings in February or even March.

Picked on January 17 at $36.85
Change since picked: + 0.07
Earnings Date 01/26/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.2 million

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Shanda Inter. - SNDA - close: 17.00 change: -0.17 stop: 16.75

SNDA tried to rally this morning but the stock failed again at the 50-dma. Thus we remain on the sidelines. Considering the after hours reaction to the tech earnings tonight the tech sector will likely turn lower tomorrow. SNDA was already trading under $17.00 in after hours markets. We will keep the stock on the list as a bullish candidate for now but our trigger to go long is at $18.10. If triggered we will target a rally into the $19.90-20.00 range.

Picked on January xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.6 million

Short Play Updates

Landstar System - LSTR - close: 40.42 change: -0.82 stop: 42.01

Rising oil prices crushed the airline sector today. The XAL index lost more than 6% and that weighed heavily on the rest of the transports. LSTR lost almost 2% and looks poised to breakdown below support at the $40.00 level and its 100-dma. Our trigger to short the stock is at $39.95, under support at the $40.00 mark. If triggered we'll target a decline into the $36.50-36.00 zone above its simple 200-dma. We do not want to hold over the early February earnings report.

Picked on January xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 406 thousand

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MedImmune - MEDI - close: 33.69 change: -0.42 stop: 35.41

On your mark! Get set! MEDI lost 1.2% today and closed under the $34.00 level for the first time in weeks. The stock is currently testing technical support at its 100-dma. The low today was $33.50. Our trigger to short the stock is at $33.45. If triggered we'll target a decline into the $30.50-30.00 range above its 200-dma. We do not want to hold over the early February earnings report.

Picked on January 0x at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.1 million

Closed Long Plays

ATI Tech. - ATYT - close: 16.73 change: -0.40 stop: 16.45

Be careful! Disappointing earnings news from IBM, Intel, and Yahoo tonight is probably going to send the NASDAQ lower tomorrow. The Intel news will definitely spark some selling in the semiconductor sector and ATYT will be affected. We are suggesting that readers exit immediately to avoid further losses.

Picked on January 08 at $17.71
Change since picked: - 0.98
Earnings Date 03/23/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 4.8 million

Closed Short Plays

GMX Resources - GMXR - close: 38.70 chg: +3.23 stop: 37.01

We have been stopped out at $37.01. Rising concerns over Iran's nuclear ambitions combined with threats from Iran's government that sanctions would end up pushing oil prices higher did lift crude oil prices today. It didn't help that the eighth largest oil exporter, Nigeria, was experiencing more violence aimed at oil works over the last few days. The reaction in the oil sector was pretty strong and shorts must have panicked in shares of GMXR. The stock rallied throughout the session to close with a 9.1% gain on big volume.

Picked on January 01 at $36.00
Change since picked: + 2.70
Earnings Date 02/20/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 256 thousand

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