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Long Play Updates

Cicso Systems - CSCO - cls: 28.25 chg: -0.79 stop: 27.89

Ouch! It was a tough day for CSCO. The stock failed to see any sort of follow through on Tuesday's afternoon bounce. Shares have now closed under technical support at the 200-dma and are testing support near $28.00. The close under the 200-dma is definitely bearish as is the failure of the first oversold bounce from $28 several days ago. Normally we would not be suggesting bullish positions here. However, the major market indices are looking short-term oversold and due for a bounce. Today's dip toward support may prove to be an attractive entry point in CSCO. Yet we would wait for a rebound first. Look for a rally past $28.80 (at the 200-dma) or a rally past the 10-dma (29.30) before initiating positions. 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: - 1.69
Earnings Date 02/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 50.7 million

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CVS Caremark - CVS - cls: 40.82 change: -0.68 stop: 39.85

Yesterday's dip and rebound looked like a new entry point for bullish positions. Today's weakness just looks like trouble. The stock has broken down under short-term support and technical indicators are turning bearish. Given Wednesday's performance we would expect a decline toward round-number support at $40.00, which is bolstered by its rising 50-dma. A bounce near $40 would look like another bullish entry point but do so cautiously. The markets are definitely struggling and the major indices are in bearish trends. This is not the best environment to be starting new bullish positions. 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: - 1.33
Earnings Date 11/01/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.5 million

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Coca-Cola - KO - close: 62.25 change: -0.54 stop: 59.59

Dow-component KO hit another new multi-year high this morning but eventually gave back its gains to close lower. Shares are testing short-term support near $62.00. A bounce from here could be used as a new bullish entry point. However, odds are growing that KO will test the $61.00 level. We would encourage readers to wait and look for a bounce near $61 as an alternative entry point. 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

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UST Inc. - UST - close: 54.70 change: -0.38 stop: 51.99

Shares of UST actually endured Wednesday's market weakness relatively well. The stock traded sideways and hit a new relative high Wednesday afternoon before turning lower into the closing bell. Given the market's performance we would not be surprised to see UST dip back toward $54.00 and its 10 and 200-dma. This area near $54.00 should be short-term support. A bounce near $54.00 can be used as a new bullish entry point. 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: + 0.29
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.0 million
 

Short Play Updates

Amgen - AMGN - close: 52.84 change: -1.29 stop: 56.26 *new*

Biotech stocks are turning lower. The BTK biotech index broke down under its 200-dma. Contributing to the sector's weakness is AMGN, one of its biggest components. AMGN lost 2.38% and closed at a new eight-week lows. We are adjusting our stop loss to $56.26. More aggressive traders may want to keep their stop above the 200-dma (around $57.11). Our target is the $50.15-50.00 mark. More aggressive traders could aim for the August lows. 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: - 1.44
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.4 million

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W.R. Berkley - BER - close: 28.81 chg: -0.08 stop: 30.55

BER is still trying to bounce but is running into resistance near $29.00. We told readers that BER would likely find resistance in the $29.00-30.00 region and that a failed rally under $30.00 could be used as a new bearish entry point. The bounce doesn't look like it's over yet so be patient. 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: + 0.41
Earnings Date 02/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.0 million

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Cousins Properties - CUZ - close: 22.88 change: -0.11 stop: 26.31

It was a quiet session for CUZ. The stock traded sideways in a relatively narrow range. The trend is bearish but a bounce back toward $24.00 would not be unexpected. 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: - 0.77
Earnings Date 02/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 506 thousand

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Medicis Pharma - MRX - close: 25.47 change: -0.46 stop: 28.05

MRX continues to inch lower. Today saw an intraday failed rally under $26.00. This looks like a new bearish entry point for shorts. 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: - 0.61
Earnings Date 02/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.2 million

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NVIDIA - NVDA - cls: 29.71 change: -0.32 stop: 33.51 *new*

NVDA's bounce from its exponential 200-dma yesterday has already failed. The stock closed under round-number support at $30.00, which is a bearish sign. We're not suggesting new positions and readers might want to take some profits here. We are going to inch down our stop loss to $33.51. Our target remains the simple 200-dma (currently near $27.66). We will exit if NVDA trades in the $27.75-27.60 zone.

Picked on November 12 at $32.45
Change since picked: - 2.74
Earnings Date 11/08/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 12.6 million

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Trimble Navigation - TRMB - cls: 34.85 chg: -0.71 stop: 40.01

The profit taking in TRMB continues. The stock lost another 2% and closed under what could have been round-number, psychological support at the $35.00 mark. TRMB is still looking 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: - 2.46
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 970 thousand
 

Closed Long Plays

None
 

Closed Short Plays

Microchip Tech. - MCHP - cls: 28.11 change: -1.16 stop: 32.11

Target achieved. Semiconductor stocks continue to trade lower. MCHP helped lead the way with a 3.9% sell-off on above average volume. The stock closed at its lows for the session, which is normally a bearish sign for the next trading day. Our target was the $28.50-28.00 range so the play is closed for us. More aggressive traders might want to aim for the $27.75-27.00 zone.

Picked on November 11 at $31.51
Change since picked: - 3.40
Earnings Date 01/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.1 million
 

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