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Long Play Updates

Cicso Systems - CSCO - cls: 29.43 chg: -0.51 stop: 27.89

CSCO lost about 1.7%, which was inline with the losses in the NASDAQ composite. Readers might want to take a more patient approach and wait for a dip toward $29.00 or the 200-dma near $28.80. Better yet consider waiting for the dip and then signs of a bounce before initiating new positions. We remain bullish and tonight's positive earnings news from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) could actually lift the tech sector tomorrow. Both shares of CSCO and HPQ were trading higher after hours tonight, which means it would really require some patience if you wanted to wait for more of a dip. If CSCO can breakout over $30.00-30.10 or its 10-dma near $30.25 we wouldn't wait. Currently we have two targets. Our first target is the $31.85-32.00 range. Our second, more-aggressive target is the $33.50-34.00 zone. Our time frame is six to eight weeks.

Picked on November 18 at $29.94
Change since picked: - 0.51
Earnings Date 02/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 50.7 million


CVS Caremark - CVS - cls: 41.88 change: -0.33 stop: 39.85

CVS is actually holding up pretty well in spite of the market's weakness. However, momentum is definitely fading and suggests that the stock could be poised for a dip near $41.50 or the $41.00 levels soon. Wait for a bounce before considering new positions. More conservative traders might want to consider a higher stop loss in case the stock does reverse. Our target is the $45.85-46.00 range. Our time frame is year-end.

Picked on November 07 at $42.15
Change since picked: - 0.27
Earnings Date 11/01/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.5 million


Coca-Cola - KO - close: 62.25 change: -0.37 stop: 59.59

The rally in KO hit a speed bump on Monday. Shares spent the session trading sideways in the $62.00-62.50 range. Broken resistance near $62.00 should now be support but we would not be surprised to see KO test the $61 region again. We're suggesting long positions now although readers certainly have a choice. You could wait for a new relative high to confirm the breakout from its $59.70-62.00 trading range or you could try and jump in on a dip into the $61.00-60.00 zone. Our end of year target is the $66.00-67.00 range. The bullish P&F chart suggests a $69 target.

Picked on November 15 at $61.95
Change since picked: + 0.30
Earnings Date 01/15/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 8.3 million


UST Inc. - UST - close: 54.19 change: +0.13 stop: 51.99

The bull-bear fight in UST continues and the bulls won another round. Traders bought the dip near its rising 10-dma and the stock actually closed over technical resistance at the 200-dma. Readers can buy this bounce or wait for a new relative high over $54.55. Our target is the $58.00-60.00 range. We would expect some short-term resistance near $56.00. The P&F chart is bullish with a $67 target.

Picked on November 14 at $54.41
Change since picked: - 0.22
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.0 million


Xilinx - XLNX - close: 22.97 change: -0.07 stop: 22.59

The semiconductor sector continues to plummet and XNLX is inching closer to a breakdown under support near $22.60. The stock hit $22.64 this afternoon. Odds are growing sharply that any market weakness tomorrow morning will see XLNX hit our stop loss at $22.59 and close the play. If XNLX does not breakdown then look for a rally past $23.25 or $23.50 as a new bullish entry point. We would consider this an aggressive, higher-risk play since XNLX is still in a short-term down trend. We would expect some resistance near $24.00. Our short-term target is the $24.90-25.00 range. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher. FYI: If you look at the weekly chart it almost looks like a bearish head-and-shoulders pattern, which is just another reason why we'd consider this higher-risk.

Picked on November 13 at $23.48
Change since picked: - 0.44
Earnings Date 01/17/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.6 million

Short Play Updates

Amgen - AMGN - close: 54.69 change: -0.80 stop: 57.76

The oversold bounce in AMGN appears to be rolling over. This could be used as a new bearish entry point. More conservative traders will want to consider a tighter stop loss just above the 50-dma (near $56.30). Our target is the $50.15-50.00 mark. More aggressive traders could aim for the August lows. Our stop is a little bit wide, which makes this higher risk. Furthermore any time you play a biotech company there is a higher level of risk. You never know when there will be a positive or negative press release about some drug, some clinical trial or some news from the FDA or a rival that could send shares of a biotech stock gapping either direction.

Picked on November 11 at $54.28
Change since picked: + 0.41
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.4 million


W.R. Berkley - BER - close: 28.27 chg: -0.40 stop: 30.55

BER continued to breakdown. The stock slipped through support and hit our suggested trigger to short it at $28.40. The play is now open and our target is the $26.00-25.50 zone. Volume continues to come in high on the declines, which is bearish. The P&F chart points to a $14 target.

Picked on November 19 at $28.40
Change since picked: - 0.13
Earnings Date 02/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.0 million


Cousins Properties - CUZ - close: 23.67 change: -0.48 stop: 26.31

CUZ continued to fall and shares slipped to a new multi-year low. The stock hit our suggested entry point for shorts at $23.65 so the play is now open. Our target is the $20.25-20.00 range. Readers should note that this is a more aggressive play because of our relatively wide stop loss. Plus, the latest data puts short interest at over 10% of the 36.8 million-share float, which raises the risk of a short squeeze, especially with the stock near support.

Picked on November 19 at $23.65
Change since picked: + 0.02
Earnings Date 02/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 506 thousand


Microchip Tech. - MCHP - cls: 30.28 change: -0.48 stop: 32.11

The semiconductor sector is helping lead the market lower. This is putting pressure on MCHP and the stock looks poised to retest support near $30.00 again. We're not suggesting new positions at this time but remain bearish on the stock. Our target is the $28.50-28.00 level. The P&F chart is bearish with a $19 target.

Picked on November 11 at $31.51
Change since picked: - 1.23
Earnings Date 01/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.1 million


Medicis Pharma - MRX - close: 26.15 change: +0.07 stop: 28.05

MRX managed a minor bounce today but the overall trend remains bearish. We do not see any changes from our weekend comments. Technicals are bearish and the P&F chart points to a $19 target. We are suggesting shorts now although more patient traders might want to consider trying to wait and short a failed rally under $27.00. Our target is the $23.00-22.50 zone. FYI: Any time we play a biotech stock we're dealing with a high-risk situation. MRX seems to be more of a drug company but we're still at risk that some FDA decision or some clinical trial news could send the stock gapping one direction or the other. Furthermore the most recent data puts short interest at more than 23% of MRX's 49.2 million-share float. That is a high-degree of short interest and raises the risk for a short squeeze.

Picked on November 18 at $26.08
Change since picked: + 0.07
Earnings Date 02/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.2 million


NVIDIA - NVDA - cls: 30.26 change: -2.19 stop: 34.05 *new*

NVDA remains a volatile stock and shares lost almost 6.75% on Monday. The stock is now testing support near $30.00 again. More conservative traders may want to take a little money off the table real fast. We are seriously tempted to lower our stop loss to the 10-dma near $33.05. Instead we're adjusting the stop loss to $34.05. Our target remains the 200-dma (currently near $27.60).

Picked on November 12 at $32.45
Change since picked: - 2.19
Earnings Date 11/08/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: thousand


Trimble Navigation - TRMB - cls: 36.14 chg: -1.51 stop: 40.01

Another round of market-wide weakness was too much for TRMB. The stock broke down under technical support at the 100-dma. We were suggesting a trigger to short TRMB at $37.25 so the play is now open. Our target is the 200-dma and we're suggesting an exit in the $33.00-32.90 zone for now. The P&F chart is bearish with a $30.00 target. FYI: Short interest looks pretty low, which is surprising and may be out of date.

Picked on November 19 at $37.25
Change since picked: - 1.11
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 970 thousand

Closed Long Plays

Allstate Corp. - ALL - close: 51.20 chg: -1.44 stop: 51.75

Our patience with ALL failed to payoff. The stock continued lower thanks to widespread market weakness. Shares of ALL did not even pause as it traded through short-term support near $52.00. The stock hit our stop loss at $51.75 early this morning closing the play. We would keep an eye on ALL to see how shares react near stronger support in the $50.25-50.00 zone.

Picked on November 16 at $52.50
Change since picked: - 1.30
Earnings Date 01/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 4.1 million

Closed Short Plays


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