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Long Play Updates

Coca-Cola - KO - close: 62.10 change: -0.69 stop: 59.59

We were suggesting that readers look for a dip in KO as a potential entry point for new bullish positions. We would suggest buying a bounce from here or if the markets pull back further then look for the $61 level to act as short-term support. It is worth noting that short-term technicals like the RSI are looking bearish and suggesting further short-term weakness. 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: + 0.15
Earnings Date 01/15/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 8.3 million
 

Short Play Updates

Amgen - AMGN - close: 55.25 change: -0.21 stop: 56.26

Disappointing news from a study using AMGN's Aranesp drug on breast cancer patients undermined the stock on Friday. The test failed to show a significant difference between the test patients and the control group (source: AP). Shares of AMGN's stock rallied to $56.13 before fading into the closing bell. This is an important test of resistance near $56.00. A new decline under $55.00 or $54.50 could be used as a new entry point for shorts. Our target is the $50.15-50.00 mark. More aggressive traders could aim for the August lows. We want to point out again that the weekly chart shows the potential for an inverse head-and-shoulders pattern. The Point & Figure chart is bearish with a $39 target. 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: + 1.18
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.4 million

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Cousins Properties - CUZ - close: 23.77 change: +0.06 stop: 25.05

CUZ gapped higher on Friday morning and hit a new two-week high but the stock quickly reversed lower to give back most of its gains. The stock is flirting with a breakout from its bearish trend and the MACD on the daily chart was so oversold that it has now produced a new buy signal. We would suggest waiting for a new decline under $23.50 before initiating new shorts. More conservative traders might want to tighten their stops toward Friday's highs. Our target is the $20.25-20.00 range. 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: + 0.12
Earnings Date 02/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 506 thousand

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Monster Worldwide - MNST - cls: 33.77 change: +0.41 stop: 35.05

The oversold bounce in MNST continued into Friday. Shares rose 1.2% and broke through short-term resistance at the 10-dma. MNST was also challenging the $34.00 level. A failed rally here and/or a new drop under $33.00 can be used as a new entry point for shorts. More conservative traders may want to use a tighter stop loss. We have two targets. Our first target is the $30.15-30.00 range. Our second target is the $28.50-27.50 zone. The bearish P&F chart points to a $26 target.

Picked on November 26 at $32.35 *triggered
Change since picked: + 1.42
Earnings Date 01/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.3 million

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Medicis Pharma - MRX - close: 26.90 change: +0.41 stop: 28.05

We have been warning readers that MRX may have produced a short-term bottom and that the bounce was probably not over yet. MRX ran into potential resistance near $27.00 on Friday. The stock is quickly approaching its trendline of lower highs and if the stock continues higher it should hit the trendline (of resistance) in the $27.25-27.50 zone. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. Our target is the $23.00-22.50 zone. The P&F chart is bearish with a $19 target. 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: + 0.72
Earnings Date 02/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.2 million

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Patterson-UTI Energy - PTEN - cls: 18.85 chg: -0.08 stop: 20.05

Oil service stocks under performed on Friday and shares of PTEN struggled with short-term resistance near $19.00 (again). The trend in PTEN is bearish and we would consider new shorts right here under $19.00 but keep in mind the bounce may not be over yet. Our target is the $17.50-17.00 zone. FYI: The most recent data puts short interest at 10% of the stock's 152 million-share float. That is a relatively high amount of short interest and raises the risk of a short squeeze.

Picked on November 26 at $18.95 *triggered
Change since picked: - 0.12
Earnings Date 02/14/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.8 million

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Trimble Navigation - TRMB - cls: 37.07 chg: +0.19 stop: 38.26

Traders need to be on their toes right here. TRMB produced a failed rally under $38.00 and closed back under its 100-dma on Friday. This looks like a new bearish entry point for shorts. However, readers may want to wait for a new decline under $36.75 first. More conservative traders might want to inch their stop loss down toward $38.00. Our target is the 200-dma and we're suggesting an exit in the $33.50-33.00 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: - 0.18
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 970 thousand
 

Closed Long Plays

UST Inc. - UST - close: 57.90 change: +0.85 stop: 53.85

Target achieved. UST spiked higher on Friday morning to $58.21. Our target was the $58.00-60.00 range. The stock met with profit taking midday on Friday only to rebound again into the closing bell. We would keep an eye on UST for future bullish entry points but short-term the stock is overbought.

Picked on November 14 at $54.41
Change since picked: + 3.49
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.0 million

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Virgin Media - VMED - cls: 19.00 change: +0.41 stop: 19.31

VMED rose 2.2% on Friday and erased Thursday's losses. We are concerned that shares may have bottomed for this volatile stock. We're no longer comfortable suggesting bearish positions. Thus we're suggesting an early exit now to cut your losses. Nimble and aggressive traders might actually want to consider buying the stock on a breakout over $19.35.

Picked on November 26 at $17.99 *triggered
Change since picked: + 1.01
Earnings Date 11/07/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.7 million
 

Closed Short Plays

None
 

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