Long Play Updates
BHP Billiton - BHP - cls: 57.60 change: +1.08 stop: 52.45
BHP continues to rally. The stock added another 1.9% and is challenging short-term resistance at its 10-dma. More conservative traders may be tempted to raise their stop loss a bit. Look for earnings news out from BHP tomorrow morning. 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: 35.69 change: -0.02 stop: 33.95
ERIC tried to rally again but failed at the $36.00 level. Volume is evaporating as traders wait to see a breakout or failed rally at the $36.00 mark. 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: 36.99 change: -1.76 stop: 34.59
Warning! FSTR has produced a bearish reversal. The stock tried to rally this morning and failed. FSTR ended the session with a bearish engulfing candlestick pattern and on big volume. More conservative traders may want to abandon ship right now to cut their losses. We're not closing the play early because FSTR still has a bullish pattern of higher lows. We have two targets. Our first target is the $39.90-40.00 range. Our second target is the $42.00-42.50 zone.
Picked on August 14 at $37.33
Paychex - PAYX - cls: 44.39 change: +0.09 stop: 42.99
Be careful here with PAYX. The stock just produced another bearish failed rally near the $45.00 level today. Technical indicators are turning bearish. More conservative traders may want to be thinking about a tighter stop or an early exit. If you're looking for a new entry point considering waiting for a move over $45.15 or $45.25. 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: 59.00 change: -0.18 stop: 55.90
The lack of follow through on yesterday's bullish breakout could be worrisome. Yet at the same time PDX did not see much profit taking and the stock traded in a very narrow range today. We would still consider new positions here or on a dip back toward $58.00. Our target is the $64.50-65.00 range. 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: 21.13 change: -0.74 stop: 20.74
A combination of factors hit the oil stocks today. News that hurricane Dean was being downgraded to a category 1 storm and that Dean would not turn toward the U.S. oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico pulled the price of crude oil lower. Plus, today was the expiration of the current month futures contract on crude oil, which could also have contributed to oil's weakness. Oil stocks fell and PTEN lost 3.3%. The stock is headed toward support near $21.00. A bounce from here could be used as a new bullish entry point. However, traders may want to keep in mind that oil is likely to be weak for a few days, which will continue to weigh on the energy stocks. Our first target is the $24.85-25.00 range.
Picked on August 12 at $22.36
Starbucks - SBUX - cls: 27.35 chg: +0.44 stop: 25.95
SBUX continues to rebound and broken through a number of significant moving averages today. There is minor resistance at $27.50 and $28.00 before the stock hits our target in the $28.35-28.50 range. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher.
Picked on August 16 at $26.61
Tellabs - TLAB - cls: 10.13 change: +0.07 stop: 9.39
TLAB continues to rebound. The stock hit an intraday high of $10.30 before paring its gains and closing back under the 10-dma. Shares might provide another entry point on a dip near $10.00 again soon. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stops. 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: 37.41 change: +0.61 stop: 33.99
VRTX continues to show relative strength. The stock rose 1.6% and broken through short-term resistance near $37.00. 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: +0.00 stop: 1.99
XOMA provided another entry point with a dip and bounce near the $2.20 level. We told readers yesterday to look for a dip near $2.20. We would still consider new positions here although more conservative types may want to wait for a move over $2.35 before initiating positions. 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. 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: 23.04 change: -0.30 stop: 22.45
The bounce in YHOO is still struggling. Shares look headed lower toward support near $22.50 although we would try to be nimble and watch for a potential bounce from here near $23.00 if it occurs. 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: 31.02 change: -0.16 stop: 33.05
The oversold bounce in AKAM may be running out of steam. Shares lost 0.5% today although volume was pretty low so it's hard to put too much emphasis on today's trading. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. 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: 16.44 change: +0.12 stop: 17.26
MOT is testing short-term resistance near $16.50 again. Volume was very low which should put traders on alert. If you're feeling really conservative you could tighten your stop toward $17.00 or breakeven at $16.95. Our target is the $15.10-14.50 range. We're not suggesting new positions at this time.
Picked on July 29 at $16.95
Riverbed Tech. - RVBD - cls: 41.90 change: +2.10 stop: 43.05
Bears need to go to yellow alert with RVBD. The stock displayed a lot of relative strength today. Shares rose 5.2% and broke through short-term resistance at the 10-dma. More conservative traders may actually want to consider an early exit now to cut their losses. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. Unfortunately, we would not find anything specific to account for today's big rally.
Picked on August 05 at $41.79
Closed Long Plays
Closed Short Plays
NTELOS - NTLS - cls: 25.31 change: -0.18 stop: 26.05
NTLS is still struggling with resistance near $26.00. Unfortunately, the stock experienced a short midday rally that pushed the stock to $26.05, which was just enough to hit our stop loss closing the play. Readers might want to consider jumping into bullish positions if NTLS can clear its 50-dma near $26.50.
Picked on August 05 at $25.76