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Long Play Updates

Hewlett Packard - HPQ - cls: 32.99 chg: +0.23 stop: 31.99*new*

The market rally on Friday was certainly a welcome respite from the recent weakness. Yet shares of HPQ still seem stuck in a short-term sideways trading range. We would look for a move over $33.25 before considering new bullish positions. Please note that we're inching up our stop loss to $31.99. More aggressive traders may want to leave their stop loss under the rising, simple 50-dma now at 31.62. We are targeting a move into the $35.00-35.50 range.

Picked on February 22 at $32.94
Change since picked: + 0.05
Earnings Date 02/15/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 13.5 million

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IAC/InterActive - IACI - close: 30.21 chg: +0.38 stop: 28.99*new*

Internet stocks closed in the green on Friday despite a new relative low for their leadership stock GOOG. Traders bought the dip in shares of IACI near $29.50 and the stock rebounded back above the $30.00 mark. Readers can use the bounce as a new bullish entry point or wait for a move over the March high ($30.60) before initiating new positions. A move over $31.00 would produce a new P&F chart buy signal. Our target for IACI is the $32.90-33.00 range. We are adjusting our stop loss to $28.99.

Picked on March 03 at $30.31
Change since picked: - 0.10
Earnings Date 02/08/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.1 million

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SCS Transportation - SCST - cls: 29.22 chg: +0.74 stop: 26.95 *new*

The rally continues for SCST. The stock bounced strongly from the $28.00 level on Friday morning and closed at a new high. SCST is nearing our target in the $29.90-30.00 range. If crude oil futures breakdown next week then we'd expect the transportation stocks to rally on the move. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher than our target range. Please note that we're inching up our stop loss to $26.99.

Picked on March 01 at $27.55
Change since picked: + 1.67
Earnings Date 04/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 139 thousand

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Synopsys - SNPS - close: 21.90 change: +0.02 stop: 21.58

Hmm... traders should take note of SNPS' relative weakness on Friday. The market produced a relatively broad-based rally but SNPS failed to participate in it. Also noteworthy is how volume has dried up in SNPS while it consolidates in a narrow range near technical support at its 50-dma. We are not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. We would wait for a move over $22.25 or over $22.50 before initiating new positions. Our target is unchanged at the $24.40-24.50 range.

Picked on March 02 at $22.49
Change since picked: - 0.59
Earnings Date 02/15/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.4 million

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UST Inc. - UST - close: 40.52 change: -0.54 stop: 39.95

The profit taking in UST continued on Friday and shares dipped toward broken resistance, now new support, at the $40.00 level. Volume was very strong on Friday's pull back. UST was trying to bounce higher by Friday afternoon supported by the 10-dma and 50-dma near the $40 level. Our exit/target range is $41.65-42.00.

Picked on March 05 at $40.55
Change since picked: - 0.03
Earnings Date 04/27/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.5 million
 

Short Play Updates

Amkor Tech. - AMKR - close: 8.49 change: -0.01 stop: 9.01

Semiconductor stocks under performed the market on Friday and AMKR was one of them. We don't see any changes from our Thursday night play description but we would be extra careful opening new plays since we don't know if there will be any follow through on Friday's market rally. Our original play description is reposted here:

A very strong earnings report back in early February helped launch the stock in a huge rally that pushed shares from under $6.00 to $10.00. Now it looks like shares have come too far too fast and the sell-off/breakdown in the SOX semiconductor sector index suggests the whole group is going lower. AMKR's short-term technical indicators have turned bearish and its MACD has produced a new sell signal. We do expect the $7.00 level, which was resistance to act as new support. As a matter of fact we will be watching for a new bottom or bounce from $7.00 as a potential entry point for bullish positions. However, short-term we are suggesting shorts and a target in the $7.55-7.45 range.

Picked on March 09 at $ 8.50
Change since picked: - 0.01
Earnings Date 05/10/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.2 million

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Baidu.com - BIDU - close: 49.10 change: +0.78 stop: 52.11

We would be careful about launching new short plays in BIDU. The overall pattern remains bearish for the stock but if the markets continue to rebound next week then BIDU might try and follow and shorts could get spooked. We don't see any changes from our Thursday night play description so we're reposting it here:

BIDU is an aggressive (a.k.a. riskier than normal) short play. The stock is known for being volatile and shares could reverse on us pretty quickly. Fortunately, the long-term trend seems to be bearish. Shares spiked higher on February 22nd after a better than expected earnings report but there was no follow through. Today's breakdown was on above average volume and broke the four-week trendline of support. The MACD is nearing a new sell signal. We are going to use a wide stop loss just in case BIDU tries to fill the gap from this Thursday morning. We are going to target the $41.00-40.00 range. More conservative traders might want to exit near the February lows (around $44). Keep an eye on Google (GOOG). The entire Internet sector might see selling pressure pick up if GOOG breaks under the February low ($337) or the top of the October 2005 gap ($333).

Picked on March 09 at $ 48.32
Change since picked: + 0.78
Earnings Date 05/23/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 788 thousand

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Hilton Hotels - HLT - close: 23.35 chg: -0.13 stop: 24.06*new*

The good news here with HLT is that the stock failed to participate in the market's rally on Friday. Instead the stock sank closer to technical support at the 200-dma and volume continued to rise well above the average. HLT looks poised to break down under the 200-dma soon. We are not suggesting new positions. Please note we are adjusting the stop loss to $24.06. We're aiming for a decline into the $22.25-22.00 range.

Picked on March 02 at $23.98
Change since picked: - 0.71
Earnings Date 05/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.9 million

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Hovnanian - HOV - close: 42.80 change: +0.91 stop: 46.11

Interest rate sensitive stocks, like the homebuilders, bounced on Friday. Shares of HOV were oversold so the stock was due for a bounce. Watch for the $44.00 level to act as short-term overhead resistance. A failed rally under $45 (or $44) could be used as a new bearish entry point. Our target is the $40.50-40.00

Picked on March 05 at $44.85
Change since picked: - 2.05
Earnings Date 03/01/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 972 thousand

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Officemax - OMX - close: 28.99 chg: +0.09 stop: 29.41

We don't see any change from our previous update. However, if OMX instead reverses and trades over $29.51 or $30.01 aggressive traders might want to consider going long. We're reposting our Thursday night play description here:

OMX looks poised for a breakdown. The stock has bounded higher in the last two months from about 24.20 to over $31.00. Now the stock has drifted back toward its trendline of support and the tug-of-war between the bulls and the bears is getting tight. Shares are hovering back and forth around support/resistance in the $28.85-29.00 region. If the major indices head south tomorrow we'd expect a breakdown in OMX. We're going to suggest a trigger to short the stock at $28.69. If triggered we'll target a move into the $27.10-27.00 range, which should line up with a 50% retracement of its two-month rally.

Picked on March xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 05/04/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.0 million
 

Closed Long Plays

LM Ericsson - ERICY - close: 33.92 chg: -0.47 stop: 33.93

We have been stopped out of ERICY. The stock gapped lower on Friday morning to open at $33.98 and then shares dipped to 33.78 before rebounding almost enough to fill the gap and turn lower again. We could not find any specific news to account for the weakness. Our stop loss was $33.93. Traders may want to keep an eye on ERICY as a potential bearish candidate. Friday's session is a technical breakdown under the 200-dma and the failed rally midday is negative as well.

Picked on February 14 at $34.61
Change since picked: - 0.69
Earnings Date 01/31/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.2 million

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Microchip - MCHP - close: 34.88 chg: -0.37 stop: 34.99

The SOX semiconductor index tried to bounce on Friday but the early strength in the sector failed. Yet even the morning bounce in the SOX was not enough to save MCHP. The stock dipped under support at the $35.00 level and hit our stop loss at $34.99 early on.

Picked on March 02 at $36.52
Change since picked: - 1.64
Earnings Date 04/27/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.6 million

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Unisys - UIS - close: 6.61 change: -0.02 stop: 6.58

UIS finally broke down under the $6.60 level and we have been stopped out at $6.58. It is certainly possible that we had our stop loss too tight as the intraday dip in UIS on Friday bounced from its 50-dma. More aggressive players may want to watch for some follow through on Friday's bounce and consider new longs if UIS continues higher.

Picked on February 16 at $ 6.81
Change since picked: - 0.18
Earnings Date 01/26/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.1 million
 

Closed Short Plays

None
 

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