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Long Play Updates

E*Trade - ET - close: 22.44 change: -0.87 stop: 21.90

The broker stocks did see some profit taking today with the XBD index falling 1.1%. Yet we don't see what caused ET to under perform its peers so much with a 3.7% loss on Tuesday. The stock has broken down back under its 10-dma and its 200-dma, which is definitely bearish. We're still on the sidelines and we're going to keep ET as a bullish candidate for now. We're suggesting a trigger to go long at $23.55. More conservative traders may want to see more confirmation and wait for a move over $23.75. There is potential resistance at its 100-dma near $24 but our target is the $25.90-26.00 range. Technical traders will note that ET's P&F chart is still bearish and will remain bearish for a while.

Picked on July xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 07/19/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.3 million

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China Petro & Chem. - SNP - cls: 55.63 chg: -1.89 stop: 54.75

Ouch! We warned readers yesterday that SNP appeared to produce a bearish reversal but we weren't expecting a big gap down. Of course gaps are pretty common since the American shares of SNP are going to react to how the underlying stock does in China and it looks like the Chinese market was down today. While SNP is holding above technical support at its 50-dma and 200-dma for now we're not suggesting new positions. Wait for a move back over $56.26 or $56.50 before considering new plays. Our target is the $62.00-63.00 range. We don't want to hold over the late August earnings report.

Picked on July 30 at $56.95
Change since picked: - 1.32
Earnings Date 08/23/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 295 thousand

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St. Jude Medical - STJ - cls: 37.40 chg: +0.50 stop: 33.99

STJ experienced some minor profit taking this morning but traders bought the dip at $35.77 and shares closed the session with a 1.3% gain. Today's intraday rebound looks like a new entry point to go long but if you're opening new plays here we'd probably use a tighter stop loss. 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: + 1.46
Earnings Date 07/19/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.8 million
 

Short Play Updates

Juniper Networks - JNPR - cls: 13.29 chg: -0.16 stop: 14.26*new*

JNPR continues to sink and the stock actually gapped down at the open this morning. Given the gap down we would not be surprised by a "fill the gap" move back towards $13.45-13.50. Watch for the simple 10-dma to be overhead resistance near $13.65. We're lowering our stop loss to $14.26. 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: - 0.46
Earnings Date 07/19/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 13.1 million

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NCI Bldg - NCS - close: 46.83 chg: +0.09 stop: 50.15

NCS hit another new six-month low this morning before bouncing. Shares are looking a bit oversold so we wouldn't be surprised by a bounce towards the 10-dma. Don't forget that we're expecting the $45 level to act as support and we're looking for a bounce near $45 as well but the 10-dma should be short-term overhead resistance. Our target is the $42.50-40.00 range. We do not want to hold over the late August earnings report.

Picked on July 27 at $47.65
Change since picked: - 0.82
Earnings Date 08/31/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 383 thousand

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UAL Corp. - UAUA - close: 25.15 chg: -0.99 stop: 28.01

Another rise in oil prices helped spark a sell-off in airline stocks. The XAL index lost 2.75% today. Leading the charge lower was UAUA, which suffered a 3.78% decline on strong volume. The breakdown under support near $25.80 looks like bad news. Our trigger to short UAUA was at $25.70 so the play is now open. Our target is the $22.00-20.00 range. FYI: The latest (July) data puts short interest at 3.8% of its 85.6 million-share float.

Picked on August 01 at $25.70
Change since picked: - 0.55
Earnings Date 07/31/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.8 million

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Meridian Biosci. - VIVO - cls: 20.02 chg: -0.98 stop: 22.05

VIVO suffered a sharp spike lower this morning. After a dip to $19.78 shares did manage to bounce back clinging to round-number, psychological support at the $20 level. Volume was pretty strong on the 4.6% decline. Readers may want to use today's loss as a new entry or wait for a new drop under today's low. 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: - 0.92
Earnings Date 07/20/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 175 thousand

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Watson Wyatt Wld - WW - close: 32.37 chg: -0.59 stop: 34.01

Today's 1.79% decline in WW may have been an important move in confirming the stock's five-week trendline of lower highs. We don't see any changes from our previous updates and we're not suggesting new positions. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stops toward $33.50 or even $33.25. 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: - 0.82
Earnings Date 08/10/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 216 thousand
 

Closed Long Plays

USA Truck - USAK - close: 18.75 change: -0.40 stop: 18.99

The transportation stocks continue to show weakness and shares of USAK lost another 2% today. The MACD on the daily chart appears close to a new sell signal. Yesterday we said that if USAK closed under $19 we'd drop the stock as a bullish candidate. Our trigger to go long was at $20.35 so the play was never opened.

Picked on July xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 07/20/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 124 thousand
 

Closed Short Plays

None
 

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