Long Play Updates
BHP Billiton - BHP - cls: 56.52 change: +1.72 stop: 52.45
Our new play in BHP is now open. The stock gapped open higher at $56.35 following a spike in metal prices and gains in the London market. When the U.S. market opened the NYSE-traded shares gapped higher. Our suggested trigger to buy the stock was at $55.26 but we'll have to take the open this morning at $56.35. Fortunately, there was an intraday dip to $55.00 and investors bought the dip. This continues to look like an entry point for bullish positions but watch out for possible resistance at the 10-dma. Our target is the $59.50-60.00 range. Warning - we have to label this a high-risk play because we're going to hold over the company's earnings report on August 22nd. More conservative traders may want to wait until after the company's report before considering new positions.
Picked on August 20 at $56.35 *gap higher
LM Ericsson - ERIC - cls: 35.71 change: +0.18 stop: 33.95
ERIC traded sideways along with most of the market but shares did manage to post a gain by the close. We do not see any changes from our weekend comments. You could wait for a rise past potential resistance near $36.00 or look for another dip near $34.50. Our target is the $37.90-38.00 range. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher like the 200-dma or the $40 zone.
Picked on August 19 at $35.53
L.B.Foster Co. - FSTR - cls: 38.75 change: +1.44 stop: 34.59 *new*
Ten cents! FSTR rallied sharply this morning and came within ten cents of our first target in the $39.90-40.00 range. We don't see any changes from our weekend comments and remain bullish although we wouldn't suggest new positions at current levels. We are going to adjust our stop loss to $34.59, just under last Thursday's low. Our second target is the $42.00-42.50 zone.
Picked on August 14 at $37.33
Paychex - PAYX - cls: 44.30 change: -0.59 stop: 42.99
Uh-oh! There was no follow through on PAYX's nice bounce from Friday. The stock pulled back toward short-term support at $44.00. The overall trend still looks bullish but some of the short-term technicals would disagree. We would watch for a bounce from here near $44.00 or near $43.50 as a new bullish entry point. We're going to list two targets. Our conservative target is the $46.90-47.00 range. Our more aggressive target is the $48.50-49.00 range. We do not want to hold over the late September earnings report. The P&F chart is very bullish with a $70 target. FYI: Chart readers could argue the weekly has a very big inverse or bullish version of the head-and-shoulders pattern.
Picked on August 19 at $44.89
Pediatrix - PDX - cls: 59.18 change: +0.49 stop: 55.90
We didn't have to wait very long for PDX to hit our trigger. The stock broke out over resistance at the $59.00 level early this morning. We were suggesting a trigger to buy the stock at $59.15. Now that the play is open our target is the $64.50-65.00 range. Today's rally produced a new P&F chart buy signal with a $72 target. More conservative traders may still want to wait for a rally past the April 2007 high at $60.35 as an entry point to avoid potential resistance at $60.00.
Picked on August 20 at $59.15
Patterson-UTI - PTEN - cls: 21.87 change: -0.31 stop: 20.74
PTEN is still struggling to build on its recent bounce. The stock looks like it's poised to retest support near $21.00 again soon. We would look for another dip (or a bounce) near $21.00 as the next potential entry point to buy the stock. However, more conservative traders might want to see a new rally past $22.60 before initiating positions. Our first target is the $24.85-25.00 range.
Picked on August 12 at $22.36
Starbucks - SBUX - cls: 26.91 chg: +0.21 stop: 25.95
SBUX out performed the S&P 500 today with a 0.78% gain although volume on today's session was almost 50% of normal. Don't be surprised to see SBUX retest the $26.50 or $26.00 levels again soon. Readers can wait and watch for another bounce as another entry point to buy the stock. Our new target is the $28.35-28.50 range. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher.
Picked on August 16 at $26.61
Tellabs - TLAB - cls: 10.06 change: +0.06 stop: 9.39
Investors bought the dip in TLAB this morning at $9.77. The afternoon rally helped the stock produce a bullish engulfing candlestick pattern. However, at the same time shares failed to breakout past potential resistance at the 10-dma. Overall we remain bullish on TLAB as last week's action looks like a significant low and reversal. We would still consider new positions here although some readers may want to wait for a breakout over the 10-dma. Our target is the $10.90-11.00 range. This means we don't have a great risk/reward ratio so more conservative traders may want to pass on this one. Really aggressive traders may want to aim higher (maybe around $11.50).
Picked on August 19 at $10.00
Vertex Pharma - VRTX - cls: 36.80 change: -0.07 stop: 33.99
The intraday dip near $36.00 (actually 35.90) looked like a new entry point and bulls bought the dip. While VRTX closed in the red today we'd still consider new positions here. Our target is the $39.80-40.00 range. The P&F chart is bullish with a $66 target. It would be tempting to aim for the $44-45 zone but we don't want to get greedy here.
Picked on August 19 at $36.87
XOMA Ltd. - XOMA - cls: 2.28 change: +0.03 stop: 1.99
XOMA did not move much on Monday but the movement it did produce was mostly higher. The early rebound attempt failed at $2.33, which confirms our comments from the weekend that more conservative traders may want to wait for a rise past $2.35 before initiating positions. Traders can choose to go long now or look for another dip near $2.20. We want to remind readers that this is an aggressive, higher-risk play. We're using a wide stop and when trading a biotech there is always headline risk or some unexpected news event sending shares the opposite direction. Our target is the $2.70-2.75 under the 200-dma. Be aware that the 50-dma is falling fast and could be overhead resistance. Meanwhile in the news today, after the closing bell, it was released that XOMA had hired a lobbying firm to lobby the U.S. government on "biotechnology, homeland security, disaster planning and other" (source:AP). FYI: The latest data shows that short interest is about 9% of the 95 million-share float. That's a high amount of short interest and raises the risk of a short squeeze, which of course would be good news for us!
Picked on August 19 at $ 2.25
Yahoo - YHOO - close: 23.34 change: -0.20 stop: 22.45
YHOO failed to see any follow through on its recent bounce. This is short-term negative and the stock could be headed lower to retest support near $22.50. We would wait and watch for signs of a bounce near $23.00 or $22.50 as a potential entry point. We are aiming for the $25.85-26.00 range but keep a wary eye on the falling 50-dma, which could be trouble for us. You can also see on the weekly chart that the $25.00 level may be tough resistance so we're setting a conservative target at the $24.95-25.00 range.
Picked on August 19 at $23.54
Short Play Updates
Akamai - AKAM - close: 31.18 change: +0.67 stop: 33.05
AKAM rebounded again this morning but then spent the rest of the session trading sideways. More conservative traders may want to exit early now to try and lock in some sort of gains. We're not suggesting new positions at this time but we will be watching for any sort of failed rally under $32.50 as a potential entry. Our target is the $28.00-27.50 zone. FYI: Traders should be aware that the latest (July) data put short interest at 6.5% of the 159 million-share float. That's a relatively high amount of short interest and increases the risk of a short squeeze.
Picked on August 14 at $32.35
Motorola - MOT - cls: 16.32 change: +0.01 stop: 17.26
MOT tried to rally twice today and both times it failed in the $16.50-16.60 zone. This is good news for the bears although we'd hesitate to launch new positions here. If you're feeling really conservative you could tighten your stop toward $17.00 or breakeven at $16.95. If MOT can trade over $16.50 on Monday then a rally to $16.80-17.00 is a very good bet. Our target is the $15.10-14.50 range.
Picked on July 29 at $16.95
NTELOS - NTLS - cls: 25.49 change: +0.00 stop: 26.05
After trading sideways in a 90-cent range on Monday shares of NTLS closed unchanged. The stock bounced from its 10-dma but failed to rally past resistance near $26.00. A breakout move is coming and the MACD is suggesting the move is going to be higher. Readers may want to exit early here to cut their losses. We're going to stick with our stop loss at $26.05. We are not suggesting new positions. Our target is the $22.25-22.00 range.
Picked on August 05 at $25.76
Riverbed Tech. - RVBD - cls: 39.80 change: -0.34 stop: 43.05
RVBD displayed some relative weakness but we need to stay alert and be cautious. Traders bought the dip near $39.00 and its rising 100-dma. Overall we don't see any changes from our weekend comments. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stops toward $42.65. Our target is the $36.00-35.00 zone.
Picked on August 05 at $41.79
Closed Long Plays
Closed Short Plays