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Long Play Updates

Amer. Power Conv. - APCC - cls: 23.07 chg: -0.82 stop: 22.90

Uh-oh! This looks dangerous. The market meltdown on Friday was too much for APCC's nascent bullish breakout. The stock has produced a very clear and defined failed rally under the simple 200-dma. Yet the selling stalled at support near the $23.00 level. We're going to keep the play open since APCC might be able to bounce from support. However, we're not that optimistic and more conservative traders might do well to just exit early right here. We are not suggesting new long positions at this time. Our target is the $26.50-27.00 range. We do not want to hold over the early February earnings report.

Picked on January 08 at $23.57
Change since picked: - 0.50
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.5 million

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Bluelinx - BXC - close: 12.46 change: -0.06 stop: 11.90

Friday was an interesting session for BXC. The stock did dip toward support near $12.00 (low was $12.13) but quickly rebounded. The rebound looks like a new bullish entry point. However, more conservative traders might feel better off to wait for a new relative high above its one-week trend of lower highs. A move over $12.75 would work. 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: - 0.01
Earnings Date 03/09/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 142 thousand

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Nexen Inc. - NXY - close: 53.86 change: +0.48 stop: 48.95*new*

The world is becoming more wary of a conflict with Iran over its nuclear designs and the global markets reacted by pushing crude oil higher on Friday. Ongoing violence in Nigeria directed at foreign oil companies and workers doesn't help the matter. NXY responded with a gap higher on Friday and a new all-time high at $55.32 but it failed to hold on to most of its gains and looks poised to see some profit taking next week. Watch for a bounce from $52.00 as a new bullish entry point. Our target is the $57.50-58.00 range by mid February. Please note that we're raising the stop loss to $48.95.

Picked on January 11 at $52.11
Change since picked: + 1.75
Earnings Date 02/17/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 424 thousand

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Patterson-UTI - PTEN - close: 37.47 change: -0.27 stop: 33.85

The oil services sector was the best performing group on Friday but PTEN was not one of them. The stock did hit a new high but failed to keep its gains. Watch for a dip back to the 10-dma as a new bullish entry point. It looks like we have more time than previously thought with this play as PTEN's earnings report won't be expected until March. Our target is the $39.85-40.00 range versus the P&F chart's target of $46.50.

Picked on January 17 at $36.85
Change since picked: + 0.62
Earnings Date 03/16/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.2 million

Short Play Updates

Ansoft Corp. - ANST - close: 32.00 chg: -0.71 stop: 34.51*new*

We need to suggest some caution here with ANST. The software sector was weak on Friday as were most of the technology groups. The GSO software index lost 2.6%. Shares of ANST also continued lower on Friday and hit an intraday low of $30.75 just under the 100-dma. Unfortunately, there was a strong bounce. The low on Friday just happens to be the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of the stock's July low to its January high. Considering the volume on the afternoon bounce we suspect the rebound is not over yet. Watch for a failed rally under $34.00 and its 50-dma as a new bearish entry point. We're going to lower our stop loss to $34.51. Our target is the $27.70-28.00 range. It is worth noting that the weakness on Friday did produce a new P&F chart sell signal that points to a $25.00 target.

Picked on January 19 at $32.71
Change since picked: - 0.71
Earnings Date 02/14/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 104 thousand

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Brunswick - BC - close: 40.07 change: -0.75 stop: 41.01

This play is becoming more risky. Actually we are still on the sidelines with a trigger to short the stock at $39.45. What concerns us is the amount of time left. BC is expected to report earnings on Thursday morning. We do not want to hold over the report so we need to exit on Wednesday afternoon. That only gives us three sessions for BC to hit our trigger, trade lower, and then we exit. If you don't feel nimble enough for this sort of routine then don't do it. Right now BC is still trading above support at the $40.00 mark and its 100-dma (39.94). If we are triggered at 39.45, we'll target a drop to $36.00 or however far BC can go before we exit on Wednesday. FYI: the P&F chart points to a $22 target.

Picked on January xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 01/26/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 746 thousand

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Landstar System - LSTR - close: 40.92 change: +0.43 stop: 42.01

Hmm... we certainly didn't expect to see any relative strength in shares of LSTR with a widespread market decline in progress. What's noteworthy is that it looks like shares rallied to its three-week trendline of resistance and then slowly began to fade. In Thursday's update we told readers to watch for a failed rally in the $41.00-41.50 region and that's what we got. Thus this is a new entry point for shorts. However, more conservative traders may just want to wait for some follow through and a decline under $40.00 before initiating shorts. Our target is the $36.50-36.00 range above its simple 200-dma. We do not want to hold over the early February earnings report.

Picked on January 18 at $39.95
Change since picked: + 0.97
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 406 thousand

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MedImmune - MEDI - close: 32.97 change: -1.19 stop: 35.01 *new*

Our MEDI short is looking good again. The stock produced another failed rally near its trendline of resistance and closed under technical support at the 100-dma. Volume on Friday's sell-off was above average and that's good news for the bears. We're going to inch our stop loss down to $35.01. Our target is still the simple 200-dma but we're using a target range of $30.50-30.00. We do not want to hold any positions over the early February earnings report.

Picked on January 18 at $33.45
Change since picked: - 0.47
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.1 million

Closed Long Plays

Shanda Inter. - SNDA - close: 15.89 change: -0.43 stop: 16.75

The sell-off in technology stocks was pretty sharp on Friday. SNDA was caught up in the weakness and lost 2.6%. We've been waiting for a breakout over the 50-dma but it may not occur any time soon. Our trigger to go long was at $18.10. We are choosing to drop this stock as a bullish candidate with the play unopened.

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

Closed Short Plays

None
 

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