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Long Play Updates

Cepheid - CPHD - close: 31.23 change: -0.11 stop: 27.45

There is no change from our previous comments on CPHD. The trend is still bullish and we're still waiting for a dip. However, we will note that some of the technical oscillators are suggesting the rally is getting a little tired here. More aggressive traders might want to up their entry point toward $30.25-30.50. We're going to stick it out and wait for a pull back into the $29.50-28.50 for now. More conservative trades may want to tighten their stops toward $28.00. We're leaving our stop loss at $27.45. Just be sure to wait for signs of a bounce before opening positions. We're going to list two targets. Our first target is the $32.00 mark. Our second target is the $34.00-35.00 range.

Picked on January xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 02/21/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.2 million

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Schering-Plough - SGP - cls: 19.11 change: -0.53 stop: 17.39

SGP is not performing as expected. We thought the Friday move was a selling climax and SGP would see an oversold bounce. The bounce has not appeared. More conservative traders may want to exit early now especially following today's relative under performance and failure at the $20.00 mark. However, keep in mind that Merck (MRK), who is a partner on the Vytorin drug with SGP, is due to report earnings tomorrow morning. MRK's comments on the current Vytorin drama could move both stocks. Looking at SGP a bounce from $19.00 or a rally over $20.00 would look like potential entry points. Readers may want to raise their stop losses. Our target is the $22.00-22.50 range.

Picked on January 27 at $19.02
Change since picked: + 0.09
Earnings Date 02/12/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 19.2 million
 

Short Play Updates

Fastenal Co. - FAST - close: 40.06 chg: -0.02 stop: 41.31

FAST spent the session trading sideways as investors wait for the FOMC decision tomorrow. We don't see any changes from our previous comments. A breakout over the $41.00-42.00 zone would be a bullish buy signal even though FAST may still have resistance at the 100-dma and 200-dma still overhead. At this point wait for a new decline under $39.00 before considering new shorts. Our first target is the $35.50-35.00 zone. Our second, more aggressive target is the $33.00-32.50 range. FYI: Traders should note that the most recent data lists short interest at 7.2% of FAST's 124 million-share float.

Picked on January 27 at $39.07
Change since picked: + 0.99
Earnings Date 01/22/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.7 million

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Hasbro Inc. - HAS - close: 24.63 change: +0.06 stop: 25.11

Traders continued to buy the dip in HAS and the stock looks poised to move higher if it can push past resistance at $25.00. The next move depends on market reaction to the fed news. Wait for the rally to fail before considering new shorts. Our target is $22.10-22.00. FYI: Short interest is at 5.3% of the stock's 131.1 million-share float.

Picked on January 27 at $23.95
Change since picked: + 0.68
Earnings Date 02/11/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.9 million

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Starwood Hotels - HOT - close: 43.84 change: +0.25 stop: 45.05

It's the same story here. Investors were buying the dips but for the most part HOT just marked time as traders waited for the fed decision tomorrow. HOT is due to report earnings on Thursday morning, January 31st, before the opening bell. We do not want to hold over the event so we will plan to exit on Wednesday at the closing bell unless shares hit our stop or target first. We are aiming for a pull back into the $39.00-38.50 zone at which point it may be time to switch to bullish positions. FYI: Short interest is listed at just 1.9% of the stock's 197.8 million-share float.

Picked on January 27 at $42.53
Change since picked: + 1.31
Earnings Date 01/31/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.1 million

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Korn/Ferry Intl. - KFY - close: 15.13 change: -0.36 stop: 16.05

KFY displayed some relative weakness today, which is a good sign for the bears. Wait until after the interest-rate decision before considering new positions. Our first target is the $13.25-13.00 range. Our second, more aggressive target is the $12.25-12.00 zone. The Point & Figure chart points to a $6.50 target. FYI: It is important to note that KFY has above average short interest at 11.2% of the stock's 46 million-share float.

Picked on January 27 at $15.13
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 03/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 701 thousand

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NII Holdings - NIHD - close: 42.61 chg: +0.97 stop: 43.01

NIHD continued to bounce higher but held under resistance near $42.75-43.00. Everything depends on market reaction to the fed news tomorrow. We're not suggesting new positions at this. Wait for some sort of failed rally to appear. We are listing two targets. Our first target is $35.50-35.00. Our second, more aggressive target is the $32.00-30.00 zone. The Point & figure chart suggests a $19 target. FYI: The most recent data lists short interest at 4.1% of the 171 million-share float.

Picked on January 27 at $39.46
Change since picked: + 3.15
Earnings Date 02/28/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.6 million
 

Closed Long Plays

Excel Maritime - EXM - cls: 31.78 change: -1.22 stop: 29.39

We have been patiently waiting for a dip in EXM and the stock finally provided one today but it was too deep. Most quote services will tell you that EXM opened at $31.50 today and then dipped to $28.65. We don't see it. Both of those numbers are bad ticks. EXM did move lower on news that the company was buying rival Quintana Maritime for $2.45 billion. A quick glance at an intraday chart for EXM shows that the stock opened at $29.60 and dipped to $28.96 before bouncing back. We were suggesting readers buy a dip at $30.25 so the true open at $29.60 would have triggered us. Unfortunately, we would have been stopped out at $29.39 for a minor loss. We would keep an eye on EXM for another opportunity down the road. A rally above $34.30 or $35.00 might be a bullish entry point.

Picked on January 29 at $29.60 *triggered gap down/stopped 29.39
Change since picked: + 2.18
Earnings Date 03/13/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.3 million
 

Closed Short Plays

Avery Dennison - AVY - close: 51.29 change: +3.81 stop: 48.55

AVY reported earnings this morning and the stock popped higher on the news. We've been warning readers for days to get out and lock in a gain but we kept expecting the rebound to roll over. It is our standard practice to exit before the earnings report and this is a good example why. Shares gapped open at $50.05 and with our stop loss at $48.55 we would have been taken out at the open. The stock had already hit our early target in the $45.15-45.00 zone.

Picked on January 13 at $48.50 stopped 50.05 gap up/1st target hit
Change since picked: + 2.79
Earnings Date 01/29/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.0 million

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CBRL Group - CBRL - cls: 30.30 change: +0.13 stop: 30.35

CBRL is still trying to bounce and shares spike to $30.65 this morning. Our stop loss was at $30.35. We still think the stock looks short-term overbought and facing resistance at the 50-dma and its trendline of lower highs.

Picked on January 27 at $29.26
Change since picked: + 1.04
Earnings Date 02/20/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 674 thousand

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Chico's FAS - CHS - close: 9.45 change: +0.37 stop: 9.21

More short covering ahead of the fed tomorrow lifted CHS to a 4% gain. We would have been stopped out at $9.21. The close over its 50-dma is bullish.

Picked on January 27 at $ 8.40
Change since picked: + 1.05
Earnings Date 03/03/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.3 million

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Limited Brands - LTD - close: 18.31 chg: +0.41 stop: 18.05

Retail stocks continued to see more short covering ahead of the fed tomorrow. LTD broke through resistance at $18.00 and its 50-dma. Shares hit our stop loss at $18.05 closing the play.

Picked on January 27 at $17.07
Change since picked: + 1.24
Earnings Date 02/27/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.9 million

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Macy's - M - close: 26.60 chg: +0.90 stop: 26.05

M is another retailer that continued to rally on Tuesday. Shares pushed through resistance at $26.00 and its 50-dma. The stock hit our stop loss at $26.05 closing the play.

Picked on January 27 at $24.95
Change since picked: + 1.65
Earnings Date 02/26/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 7.8 million
 

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