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Long Play Updates

Advent Software - ADVS - close: 53.53 change: -0.57 stop: 51.90*new*

It was another volatile day for ADVS but once again bulls were stepping up this afternoon to buy the dip. The afternoon bounce looks like a new bullish entry point to buy ADVS but given the market's performance today we would hesitate to open new positions. More conservative traders may want to raise their stops toward $52.00. Actually we are going to adjust our stop loss to $51.90. 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: - 0.30
Earnings Date 01/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 245 thousand

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Fiserv - FISV - close: 55.26 change: -0.23 stop: 53.99

Everybody say it with me now, "uh-oh!" The action in FISV was bearish. The stock produced a failed rally after spiking to a new five-month high this morning. Now normally these types of reversal patterns need to be confirmed, especially when it is in an up trend, but given the market's current short-term trend odds are good that FISV will see more profit taking. More conservative traders will want to tighten their stops. If FISV breaks the 10-dma we would expect a dip to the $54.25-54.00 zone. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. 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: - 0.85
Earnings Date 01/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.5 million

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Ingles Markets - IMKTA - close: 25.60 chg: +0.21 stop: 23.95

IMKTA out performed the market today but the rally stalled late this afternoon. Given the market's performance we would not be surprised to see IMKTA slip back toward $25.00 or its 50-dma again. Wait for the dip and signs of a bounce before considering new 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: - 0.06
Earnings Date 12/03/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 81 thousand

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Sonoco Products - SON - cls: 32.87 chg: +0.19 stop: 31.95

Posting a gain during today's session is a positive sign but we remain defensive here. We warned you earlier that the MACD was near a new sell signal. We are strongly considering an early exit! 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: - 0.49
Earnings Date 02/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 587 thousand

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XTO Energy - XTO - close: 52.14 chg: +0.78 stop: 51.79

There is no change from our previous comments. We are waiting for a breakout over resistance. 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: 26.43 chg: -0.50 stop: 28.55*new*

BOBE's bounce failed at the 10-dma and shares lost 1.8% today. The stock is trading near the bottom of its two-week trading range. We're not suggesting new positions at this time but a decline under $26.00 would look like a new entry point. We are adjusting our stop loss to $28.55. Conservative traders might want to place theirs closer to $27.50. 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: - 2.58
Earnings Date 02/14/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 467 thousand

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Fist Community Bancorp - FCBP - cls: 40.30 chg: -0.94 stop: 43.26

Once again the financials stocks were one of the worst performing sectors. Shares of FCBP lost more than 2.2% and produced another failed rally under $42.00. We would still consider new positions here although momentum traders may want to wait for a drop under $40.00. 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: - 0.50
Earnings Date 01/28/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 416 thousand

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Granite Constr. - GVA - close: 36.16 change: -0.02 stop: 40.01 *new*

GVA continues to look bearish even though the stock closed virtually unchanged on the session. We are adjusting our stop loss to $40.01. More conservative traders might want to take a little money off the table right now. 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: - 2.57
Earnings Date 02/11/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.1 million

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IAC Interactive - IACI - cls: 26.28 chg: -0.64 stop: 28.01 *new*

Shares of IACI were downgraded before the opening bell today. The stock gapped lower at $26.38 and dipped to $25.79 before bouncing back. The move under $26.40 and $26.00 looks like a new entry point for shorts. We would still consider new shorts right here. Please note we're adjusting our stop loss to 28.01, just above the late December high. 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: - 1.32
Earnings Date 02/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.8 million

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Medicis Pharma - MRX - close: 25.92 change: -0.05 stop: 27.01 *new*

We're still not seeing a lot of follow through on MRX. The trend is still bearish but there was no momentum today. That should make bears cautious. We're adjusting our stop loss to $27.01. You might want to tighten your stop toward $26.75. Bears are still faced with support near $25.50. 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: - 0.16
Earnings Date 02/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.2 million
 

Closed Long Plays

None
 

Closed Short Plays

NII Holdings - NIHD - close: 48.77 change: +0.45 stop: 50.05

We are suggesting an early exit on NIHD. The stock is not cooperating. Shares continued to show relative strength today. The stock does appear to have short-term resistance near $49.25 and potential round-number resistance at $50.00. We don't want to wait around given the relative strength so we're suggesting an exit now. FYI: The longer-term trend is still bearish and we might reconsider new bearish plays on a drop below $47.00 or $46.00.

Picked on December 30 at $47.59
Change since picked: + 1.18
Earnings Date 02/25/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 4.3 million

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Tempur-Pedic Intl. - TPX - cls: 25.95 chg: -0.02 stop: 28.20

We've waited long enough. Today would have been the perfect day to see TPX dip toward the $25.00 level. Unfortunately, shares bounced at $25.44, which is very close to the August 2007 low. The lack of a real decline today with the market this weak is a warning for the bears. Thus we're suggesting an exit immediately. TPX has already exceeded our first target in the $27.25-27.00 range. Our second target was the $25.25-25.00 range.

Picked on December 12 at $30.67
Change since picked: - 4.70
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.9 million
 

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