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Long Play Updates

Cicso Systems - CSCO - cls: 29.04 chg: -0.39 stop: 27.89

CSCO dipped under its 200-dma again but bulls bought the dip and the stock pared its losses. Readers can choose to go long the stock now or wait for a rally above its 10-dma near $29.75. More conservative traders may want to wait for a rise past the $30.00 level. If the markets continue lower we would watch for CSCO to find support near $28.00. 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: - 0.90
Earnings Date 02/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 50.7 million

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CVS Caremark - CVS - cls: 41.50 change: -0.38 stop: 39.85

There should be no surprises here. We warned readers yesterday to expect a dip in CVS. Bulls bought the dip near $41.00. This looks like a new bullish entry point but readers might feel safer to wait for a continuation of the bounce tomorrow before initiating positions. A rise past $42.10 or $42.40 would work. 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: - 0.65
Earnings Date 11/01/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.5 million

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Coca-Cola - KO - close: 62.79 change: +0.49 stop: 59.59

KO is still showing relative strength. The stock rallied to new highs this morning. When stocks were weak investors bought the dip near short-term support around $62.00. The afternoon bounce looks like a new bullish entry point to go long. 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: + 0.79
Earnings Date 01/15/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 8.3 million

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UST Inc. - UST - close: 55.08 change: +0.89 stop: 51.99

The bulls seem to have garnered the upper hand in UST. The stock broke out to new relative highs today and closed with a 1.6% gain. This relative strength is very encouraging. Readers can use it as a new entry point for bullish positions. 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: + 0.67
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.0 million
 

Short Play Updates

Amgen - AMGN - close: 54.13 change: -0.53 stop: 57.76

AMGN continued to edge lower and lost 0.9% in spite of the afternoon bounce. We remain bearish here but more conservative traders might want to tighten their stops. 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: - 0.15
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.4 million

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W.R. Berkley - BER - close: 28.89 chg: +0.62 stop: 30.55

An oversold bounce in BER was not unexpected but today's session has produced a bullish engulfing candlestick pattern. We would expect the bounce to continue tomorrow. Look for BER to run into resistance in the $29.00-30.00 zone. A failed rally under $30 can be used as a new bearish entry point for shorts. Our target is the $26.00-25.50 zone. The P&F chart points to a $14 target.

Picked on November 19 at $28.40
Change since picked: + 0.49
Earnings Date 02/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.0 million

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Cousins Properties - CUZ - close: 22.99 change: -0.68 stop: 26.31

CUZ sank to new relative lows and closed with a 2.8% decline on strong volume. We do not see any changes from our previous comments. If CUZ produces an oversold bounce watch for shares to run into resistance near $24.00 and then again near its 10-dma around $24.75. 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: - 0.66
Earnings Date 02/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 506 thousand

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Microchip Tech. - MCHP - cls: 29.27 change: -1.00 stop: 32.11

Semiconductor stocks continued to show relative weakness and MCHP broke down to new lows for the year. The close under its October low is definitely bearish! More conservative traders might want to consider locking in a gain right now or tightening their stop loss. Shares of MCHP hit an intraday low of $28.91. 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: - 2.23
Earnings Date 01/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.1 million

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Medicis Pharma - MRX - close: 25.93 change: -0.22 stop: 28.05

MRX traded inside a 71-cent range and managed to hit a new relative low before the afternoon bounce. Overall we don't see any changes from our previous comments. 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: - 0.15
Earnings Date 02/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.2 million

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NVIDIA - NVDA - cls: 30.03 change: -0.23 stop: 34.05

NVDA broke down under support at the $30.00 level on an intraday basis but traders bought the dip near the stock's rising exponential 200-dma. We would not be surprised to see another oversold bounce back toward the 10-dma currently near $32.25. Therefore more conservative traders may want to lock in a gain now. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. Our target remains the simple 200-dma (currently near $27.60).

Picked on November 12 at $32.45
Change since picked: - 2.42
Earnings Date 11/08/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 12.6 million

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Trimble Navigation - TRMB - cls: 35.50 chg: -0.64 stop: 40.01

TRMB continues to sink. Shares lost 1.77% following yesterday's breakdown under the 100-dma. TRMB is looking a little short-term oversold so we would expect a bounce near $35.00 or the $34.50 region. We would not suggest new positions at this time. 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: - 1.75
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 970 thousand
 

Closed Long Plays

Xilinx - XLNX - close: 21.95 change: -0.74 stop: 22.59

Semiconductor stocks continue to show weakness and XNLX broke down under support this morning. Shares quickly hit our stop loss at $22.59.

Picked on November 13 at $23.48
Change since picked: - 1.53
Earnings Date 01/17/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.6 million
 

Closed Short Plays

None
 

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