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Long Play Updates

Advent Software - ADVS - close: 55.61 change: +1.06 stop: 49.99

ADVS has continued to rally following last Friday's bullish breakout. The stock hit an intraday high of $56.57 before paring its gains. Our target is the $57.50 level. More aggressive traders may want to aim for the $60 region. The late day bounce from the $55 region is a good sign. More conservative traders will want to use a tighter stop loss.

Picked on December 21 at $53.83 *gap open entry
Change since picked: + 1.78
Earnings Date 01/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 245 thousand

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Ingles Markets - IMKTA - close: 26.63 chg: +0.36 stop: 23.95

IMKTA continues to rally following the recent breakout from its bearish channel. Shares are nearing potential resistance at its 100-dma. Should the stock see any profit taking it should find support near $25.00. We're suggesting long positions now although more conservative traders could wait for a dip back toward $25.00. Our target is the $27.75-28.00 range. More aggressive traders could aim higher. FYI: Normally we do not play stocks with an average daily volume of less than 250,000 shares so we're tempted to label this play as aggressive.

Picked on December 23 at $25.66
Change since picked: + 0.97
Earnings Date 12/03/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 81 thousand

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Coca-Cola - KO - close: 63.01 change: -0.20 stop: 61.75 *new*

We are urging caution on KO. The upward momentum in this Dow-component is faltering. Given the stock's lackluster performance this week we would hesitate to open new positions. Please note we're adjusting our stop loss to $61.75. More conservative traders may want to up their stop loss to breakeven (61.95). Our 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: + 1.06
Earnings Date 01/15/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 8.3 million

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Sonoco Products - SON - cls: 33.44 chg: -0.20 stop: 31.75

SON has spent the last couple of sessions digesting its recent gains. Traders bought the dip near $33 this morning and the intraday bounce looks like a new bullish entry point to buy the stock. There is potential resistance at the exponential 200-dma near $34.50 and then again near $35.00. We're setting our first target at $34.85-35.00. Our second, more aggressive target is the 200-dma (currently near $36.75).

Picked on December 20 at $33.36
Change since picked: + 0.08
Earnings Date 02/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 587 thousand

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XTO Energy - XTO - close: 52.74 chg: -0.67 stop: 51.79

We are a little surprised that XTO didn't show more strength today following a sharp rise in crude oil prices. Instead XTO actually produced a bearish engulfing candlestick (reversal) pattern. The intraday high was $53.95. We have been suggesting that readers wait for a breakout over $54.00. Our suggested entry point for bullish positions is at $54.15. If XTO can breakout over $54.00 it would produce a new buy signal on the Point & Figure chart. Speaking of the P&F chart XTO has a habit of producing a sell signal and then reversing higher. The P&F chart currently sports a sell signal and it looks poised to reverse higher again. If triggered our target is the $59.00-60.00 range.

Picked on December xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 02/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 4.1 million
 

Short Play Updates

Bob Evans Farms - BOBE - cls: 27.13 chg: -0.10 stop: 30.11

Unfortunately, we don't see a lot of changes from our weekend comments on BOBE. The stock is still trying to produce an oversold bounce and it looks like the bounce is already beginning to fade a bit. We're aiming for the $25.25-25.00 zone. FYI: The most recent data puts short interest at 11.6% of the 32.74 million-share float. That is a relatively high amount of short interest and raises the risk of a short squeeze.

Picked on December 16 at $29.01
Change since picked: - 1.88
Earnings Date 02/14/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 467 thousand

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Granite Constr. - GVA - close: 37.55 change: -0.83 stop: 40.26*new*

We remain bearish on GVA. The stock's attempt at an oversold bounce seems to be failing near $38.35. We are adjusting our stop loss to $40.26. Broken support near $40.00 should be another level of resistance. Our target is the $34-33 range near its lows for the year. FYI: The most recent date puts short interest at 7.8% of the 34.4 million-share float.

Picked on December 16 at $38.73
Change since picked: - 1.18
Earnings Date 02/11/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.1 million

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IAC Interactive - IACI - cls: 27.56 chg: -0.15 stop: 28.81

The last couple of sessions may have provided another entry point with a failed rally under $28.00. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stops closer to the $28.00 level. Conservative tradres may also want to wait for a breakdown under support near $26 and target the $22.50 zone. We have two targets. Our first target is the $25.50-25.00 range. The H&S pattern, if it follows through, is forecasting a target in the $22 region. Our second, more aggressive target will be the $22.50 level. The P&F chart is still bullish for now but is on the verge of a breakdown. FYI: The latest data puts short interest at about 4% of the 120 million-share float.

Picked on December 11 at $27.60
Change since picked: - 0.04
Earnings Date 02/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.8 million

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Medicis Pharma - MRX - close: 26.38 change: -0.07 stop: 28.05

Shares of MRX have also seen their bounce loose steam. The stock is trading with a consistent pattern of lower highs. A new decline under $26.00 would look like a new entry point. MRX has technical resistance at its 50-dma near $27.00. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stops closer to $27. 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: + 0.30
Earnings Date 02/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.2 million

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Tempur-Pedic Intl. - TPX - cls: 27.97 chg: +0.39 stop: 30.15

The downtrend in TPX is still very much intact but short-term this sideways consolidation is almost starting to look like a potential bottom. A solid close over $28 and its 10-dma could spark some short covering. TPX should find resistance again near $30 and its 200-dma. Wait for a failed rally under $30.00 as a potential entry point for new shorts. TPX has already exceeded our first target in the $27.25-27.00 range. Our second target is the $25.25-25.00 range. FYI: It's important to note that the most recent data puts short interest at almost 19% of the 68-million share float. That is a high degree of short interest and raises the risk of a short squeeze.

Picked on December 12 at $30.67
Change since picked: - 2.70
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.9 million
 

Closed Long Plays

Evergreen Solar - ESLR - cls: 18.84 chg: +2.29 stop: 14.85

Target exceeded. Momentum traders must be in heaven with the big moves some of these solar stocks are making. ESLR rallied from a test of its 10-dma on Monday. The rally continued today with a 13.8% gain on big volume almost three times the norm. Today's move also marks a bullish breakout over significant resistance in the $17.50-18.00 zone and coincidentally a new all-time high for ESLR. Our target was $17.45.

Picked on December 18 at $15.70
Change since picked: + 3.14
Earnings Date 02/14/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.7 million

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PC Mall - MALL - close: 10.05 change: -0.42 stop: 9.90

MALL under performed the market this week and shares dipped back under support at the $10.00 level. The intraday low was $9.89, which was just enough to stop us out at $9.90. MALL had already hit our initial target at $12.25. Our second, more aggressive target was the $13.75-14.00 region.

Picked on December 04 at $10.25 *triggered
Change since picked: - 0.20
Earnings Date 02/04/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 356 thousand
 

Closed Short Plays

Mack-Cali Realty - CLI - cls: 34.96 chg: -0.44 stop: 34.26

CLI rallied sharply on Monday, December 24th and broke out over resistance at the $34.00 level. The stock hit our stop loss at $34.26 ending the play. We're not fully convinced this is a bottom on CLI and readers may want to keep an eye on it for a reversal back under $34.00. Our target was the $30.25-30.00 range. CLI almost hit our target with the December 18th low at $30.42.

Picked on December 16 at $32.74
Change since picked: + 2.22
Earnings Date 02/21/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 751 thousand

 

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