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Long Play Updates

St. Jude Medical - STJ - cls: 37.41 chg: +1.61 stop: 33.99*new*

The rally in STJ continues to storm higher. The stock added a strong 4.49% on Friday and shares broke out above technical resistance at its 100-dma. Volume on the session was above average, which is bullish. We are going to raise our stop loss to $33.99. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. Our target is the $39.00-40.00 range. Our time frame is about four to six weeks. FYI: The P&F chart points to a $48 target.

Picked on July 25 at $35.94
Change since picked: + 1.47
Earnings Date 07/19/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.8 million
 

Short Play Updates

Juniper Networks - JNPR - cls: 13.67 chg: +0.34 stop: 14.61

The NWX networking index is still in a steep bearish decline but the group may have produced a short-term bottom with the double-bottom pattern near 197.50 over the past several days. JNPR also remains in a bearish pattern of lower highs and lower lows but the stock was oversold and due for a bounce. The rally on Friday, especially in tech stocks, prompted some short covering. JNPR added 2.5%. At this time we would expect a rebound toward $14.00-14.15. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stops, especially now since the three-day candlestick pattern in JNPR looks like a short-term bullish reversal. We're not suggesting new positions. Our target for JNPR is the $12.00-10.00 range. Conservative traders can exit near $12 with us and more aggressive traders can aim lower. The P&F chart is still very bearish with an $8.50 target.

Picked on July 21 at $13.75
Change since picked: - 0.08
Earnings Date 07/19/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 13.1 million

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NCI Bldg - NCS - close: 47.87 chg: +0.22 stop: 50.15

NCS is a new play from our Thursday night newsletter. The good news is that the stock did not truly participate in the market's rally on Friday. We would hesitate to open new positions considering the market's strength unless NCS continues to decline although a failed rally near $50 could be used as a new entry point. We are reposting our play comments from Thursday night here:

Shares of NCS are breaking down again. The oversold bounce from its June low failed near $54.00 and it has been a relatively steady trend of lower highs since then. This past week has seen NCS produce another failed rally under $52.00 and its 200-dma. Thursday's decline broke down under the June low and support near the $48.00 level. The MACD on the daily chart has produced a new sell signal. Meanwhile the P&F chart has produced a descending triple-bottom breakdown sell signal. It might be worth nothing that the P&F chart's target is only $49, which has been exceeded. We suspect that NCS may be able to trade towards $40. There does appear to be some support near $45.00 but we're going to target a decline into the $42.50-40.00 range. Be ready for a bounce when shares near $45. We do not want to hold over the late August earnings report.

Picked on July 27 at $47.65
Change since picked: + 0.22
Earnings Date 08/31/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 383 thousand

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Meridian Biosci. - VIVO - cls: 20.95 chg: +0.59 stop: 22.05

We are urging traders to be cautious here. Thursday's bearish engulfing candlestick did not see any follow through on Friday. Instead the stock bounced for a 2.89% gain, albeit on low volume. Short-term technical indicators for VIVO are starting to tilt upward and the oversold bounce may not be done yet. If the market continues to rally next week we'd expect shares of VIVO to make a run for its descending 10-dma, currently near 21.70. Readers can wait and watch for a failed rally under the 10-dma as a new entry point but we would hesitate to open new positions with the major averages moving higher. Our target is the $18.15-18.00 range since the $18.00 level was support last year. FYI: the P&F chart shows a triple-bottom breakdown sell signal with a $16 target.

Picked on July 23 at $20.94
Change since picked: + 0.01
Earnings Date 07/20/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 175 thousand

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Watson Wyatt Wld - WW - close: 33.09 chg: +0.66 stop: 34.01

Traders definitely need to turn defensive here with WW. Friday's 2% gain reversed Thursday's sell-off and now the short-term technical indicators are suggesting more strength ahead. The stock is still in a bearish channel but WW could rally toward the top of the channel near $34 and still not break the bearish pattern (see chart). If you don't want to risk a rally to $34 and then a breakout consider exiting early right now. We are not suggesting new plays at this time. Our target is the $31.10-31.00 range. We do not want to hold over the early August earnings report. FYI: the most recent data put short interest at 6.9% of WW's 41 million-share float.

Picked on July 16 at $33.19
Change since picked: - 0.10
Earnings Date 08/10/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 216 thousand
 

Closed Long Plays

None
 

Closed Short Plays

Phazar Corp. - ANTP - close: 8.97 change: -0.14 stop: 9.27

We are choosing to drop ANTP as a bearish candidate. We added the stock to the play list as an aggressive short candidate but ANTP has not been able to breakdown under support near $8.50. It was our suggested strategy to use a trigger at $8.49 to open plays. So far we remain untriggered and we're choosing to drop ANTP because we feel that the risks are rising. The company is probably set to report earnings in the next two weeks but we can't confirm an earnings date and we don't want to hold over the announcement. Aggressive traders may want to keep ANTP as a potential play. The stock's pattern of lower highs (failed rallies) is definitely bearish.

Picked on July xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 08/04/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 89 thousand

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Cascade - CAE - close: 38.18 change: +0.55 stop: 36.76

CAE is another bearish candidate that isn't cooperating with us. It was our plan to catch a breakdown under support near $35.00 with a trigger to short the stock at $34.90. CAE has not shown any further weakness and instead shares look poised to breakout higher above its simple 50-dma. Traders may even want to consider bullish positions on a move past $38.50 or $39.00 since the action over the last two months is starting to look like a bullish double-bottom pattern. We're dropping the stock as a bearish candidate.

Picked on July xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 09/07/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 87 thousand

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Maxim Integrated - MXIM - close: 29.31 chg: +0.54 stop: 30.01

We're choosing an early exit in MXIM. We definitely thought about keeping MXIM as a short candidate. The stock is still in a six-month down trend and shares should find overhead resistance at $30.00 and its 50-dma. However, we chose to exit because the SOX semiconductor index rose more than 3% on Friday and appeared to breakout from its bearish channel. If the SOX is breaking out then it will lend strength to shares of MXIM. Besides, we were running low on time with MXIM anyway. The company's earnings report is due on August 4th and we do not want to hold over the announcement.

Picked on July 09 at $29.75
Change since picked: - 0.44
Earnings Date 08/04/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.5 million
 

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