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Long Play Updates

Advent Software - ADVS - close: 54.10 change: -0.20 stop: 49.99

ADVS provided some intraday excitement but in the end closed almost unchanged. Shares could be forming a $53-55 trading range. Bulls seemed quick to buy the dip this morning, which is encouraging. More conservative traders might want to raise their stops. Our bias this week is flat to down so we might see another dip toward $53 again. Nimble traders could try and jump in on another bounce. Our target is the $57.50 level. More aggressive traders may want to aim for the $60 region.

Picked on December 21 at $53.83 *gap open entry
Change since picked: + 0.27
Earnings Date 01/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 245 thousand

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Fiserv - FISV - close: 55.49 change: -0.54 stop: 53.99

Normally we would see FISV's failure to rally following Friday's breakout as a big negative. However, with so many people taking the day off it's hard to rely on today's performance. Nimble traders could use a dip near its 10-dma (54.80) or the $55.00 level as a new entry point. Momentum players will want to see a new relative high as their entry point. Our target is the $59.75-60.00 range. As expected the move over $56.00 has produced a new Point & Figure chart triple top breakout buy signal. The P&F chart now points to a $69 target.

Picked on December 28 at $56.11 *triggered
Change since picked: - 0.62
Earnings Date 01/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.5 million

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Ingles Markets - IMKTA - close: 25.39 chg: -0.24 stop: 23.95

IMKTA provided us another entry point today. We have been telling readers that the stock looked like it could retest the 50-dma and shares tagged it this morning. Bulls bought the dip and the rebound looks like a new entry point for long positions. More conservative types will want to wait for a new rise over $26.00 before initiating positions. 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: - 0.27
Earnings Date 12/03/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 81 thousand

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Sonoco Products - SON - cls: 32.68 chg: -0.31 stop: 31.95 *new*

SON is not looking very strong here. The stock is actually testing what might be important short-term support near $32.50. We are adjusting our stop loss to $31.95. Given our flat to bearish outlook on the market this week we would look for a pull back toward $32.00. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. More conservative traders may want to exit early to preserve their capital. 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: - 0.68
Earnings Date 02/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 587 thousand

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XTO Energy - XTO - close: 51.36 chg: -1.38 stop: 51.79

We are still sitting on the sidelines with XTO. The stock produced a failed rally under $54.00 last week and has continued to sell-off. Shares lost 2.6% today and are currently testing technical support at the 50-dma. We have been suggesting a trigger to buy the stock at $54.15 but we may never be triggered. The MACD on the daily chart looks like it just produced a new sell signal and we may be witnessing a potential double top forming. 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: 26.93 chg: +0.06 stop: 29.01 *new*

We have nothing new to report on for BOBE. The stock continues to trade sideways. We are not suggesting new bearish positions at this time. More conservative traders may want to exit early now and lock in a gain or tighten their stop loss toward $27.50. We are going to adjust our stop to $29.01. 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: - 2.08
Earnings Date 02/14/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 467 thousand

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Fist Community Bancorp - FCBP - cls: 41.24 chg: +0.44 stop: 43.26

The financial stocks bounced due to what many were calling bargain hunting as investors try to buy the beaten down issues in hopes of a big rebound next year. We welcome today's move as it has provided a new failed rally under the $42.00 level and thus a new entry point for shorts. Overall we don't see any changes from our weekend comments. Our first target is the $35.25-35.00 range. Our second target is the $32.00-30.00 zone. The P&F chart is bearish with a $30 target. FYI: We do not want to hold over the late January earnings report.

Picked on December 30 at $40.80
Change since picked: + 0.44
Earnings Date 01/28/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 416 thousand

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Granite Constr. - GVA - close: 36.18 change: -0.00 stop: 40.26

GVA tried to provide some excitement for us. Shares broke down under support near $36.00 this morning only to reverse and rally to $36.86 this afternoon. Alas by the end of the session GVA closed unchanged. The trend is still bearish. More conservative traders might want to take a little money off the table right now with GVA off more than 6.5% from our picked price. 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: - 2.55
Earnings Date 02/11/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.1 million

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IAC Interactive - IACI - cls: 26.92 chg: -0.07 stop: 28.81

IACI actually gapped down this morning and then spent the rest of the session trading sideways. We don't see any changes from our weekend comments. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stops closer to the $28.00 level. Conservative traders 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: - 0.68
Earnings Date 02/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.8 million

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Medicis Pharma - MRX - close: 25.97 change: -0.34 stop: 27.35

The intraday action in MRX was bearish with a failed rally near $26.25. This sort of move looks like a new entry point for shorts but bears are still faced with support near $25.50. 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: - 0.11
Earnings Date 02/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.2 million

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NII Holdings - NIHD - close: 48.32 change: +0.73 stop: 50.05

NIHD is not cooperating. The stock added 1.5% and looks poised to move higher. Wait for a failed rally near $49.00-49.20 before considering new bearish positions. We started the play with a stop loss at $50.05 but looking more closely at the intraday chart more conservative traders might be able to get away with a stop near $49.26 instead. The P&F chart is bearish with a $29 target. We are going to aim for the recent lows in the $43.00-42.50 range. More aggressive traders could aim for the $40 level.

Picked on December 30 at $47.59
Change since picked: + 0.73
Earnings Date 02/25/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 4.3 million

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Tempur-Pedic Intl. - TPX - cls: 25.97 chg: -0.71 stop: 28.20*new*

The selling pressure in TPX continues. The stock lost another 2.6% and closed at a new four-month low. We are adjusting our stop loss to $28.20. TPX has already exceeded our first target in the $27.25-27.00 range. Our second target is the $25.25-25.00 range. More aggressive traders could aim closer to $24.00. If you missed taking profits earlier this month now would be a good time to do so. 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: - 4.70
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.9 million
 

Closed Long Plays

Coca-Cola - KO - close: 61.37 change: -0.90 stop: 61.75

Uh-oh! KO has produced a bearish breakdown and sell signal today. The stock slipped under support near $61.90 and its 50-dma. Nimble traders may want to short it and target the rising 100-dma although odds are pretty good KO might bounce at $60.00 first. We would have been stopped out at $61.75 today.

Picked on November 15 at $61.95
Change since picked: - 0.58
Earnings Date 01/15/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 8.3 million
 

Closed Short Plays

None
 

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