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Long Play Updates

Acuity Brands - AYI - cls: 44.65 chg: -0.62 stop: 43.49

We cautioned readers to expect a dip near $44 and AYI delivered today with an intraday low of $43.74. The stock managed a bounce near technical support at its 10 and 100-dma. This move can be used as a new entry point for bullish positions or wait for a rally past today's high at $45.25 to jump in. Our target is the $49.50-50.00 zone. The Point & Figure chart looks very bullish with a $62 target and a breakout over resistance.

Picked on February 5 at $45.50 *triggered
Change since picked: - 0.85
Earnings Date 04/03/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 857 thousand
 

Short Play Updates

Sovran Self Storage - SSS - cls: 39.37 chg: +1.06 stop: 40.41

SSS followed the crowd today and the pattern that was en vogue was one of breaking support in the morning only to bounce back strongly into the close. Shares of SSS broke down under support at $38.00 this morning and hit our suggested entry point to short the stock at $37.90. Unfortunately, the bears lost control and SSS ended the session with a 2.7% gain. The larger pattern is still bearish but short-term this looks dangerous. At this time we would wait and watch for a failed rally near $40.00 before considering new shorts. We have two targets. Our first target is the $35.10 mark since the $35 level is probably round-number support. However, given the trend of lower lows we're setting a second target at $33.00. This is a little aggressive given our short-term time frame. SSS is due to report earnings on February 13th (unconfirmed) and we do not want to hold over the report. FYI: The P&F chart is bearish with a $32 target. The most recent data puts short interest at 7.2% of the 20.99 million-share float.

Picked on February 06 at $37.90 *triggered
Change since picked: + 1.47
Earnings Date 02/13/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 170 thousand

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Xerox Corp. - XRX - cls: 15.10 chg: -0.03 stop: 16.01

XRX also broke down under support this morning. Shares slipped to $14.89, which was enough to hit our suggested entry point for shorts at $14.95. Fortunately, the bounce back this afternoon wasn't too aggressive and it looks like the bears are still poised to make a run on this stock. However, more conservative traders will want to strongly consider a tighter stop loss (probably near $15.50ish). Look for a new move under $14.90 before initiating new shorts. Our short-term target is the $13.55 mark. XRX's Point & Figure chart is bearish with a $10.50 target. The most recent data listed short interest at just 0.6% of the float.

Picked on February 07 at $14.95 *triggered
Change since picked: + 0.15
Earnings Date 01/24/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.9 million
 

Closed Long Plays

Ashland Inc. - ASH - close: 44.65 chg: +0.27 stop: 43.99

Early morning weakness was too much and ASH dipped under support at the $44.00 level. Shares hit $43.96 before bouncing back. Our stop loss was at $43.99 so the play is now closed. We want to point out that this was a very common pattern today with stocks breaking support early in the morning and rebounding back into positive territory. We would keep ASH on the watch list and another rally over $46.00 would look like another bullish entry point to buy the stock.

Picked on February 4 at $46.15 *triggered
Change since picked: - 1.50
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 807 thousand

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Horizon Lines - HRZ - close: 22.94 chg: +1.07 stop: 18.99

It looks like we were not the only ones turning bullish on HRZ. The stock popped higher today and out performed with a 4.8% gain. At this point we do not want to chase it. We will drop HRZ as a bullish candidate for now but keep it on our watch list for a pull back toward support near $20.00. Our strategy was to buy a dip in the $20.35-20.00 zone and target a rally in the $24-25 range.

Picked on February xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 02/01/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 887 thousand

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Schering-Plough - SGP - cls: 19.92 change: -0.45 stop: 19.02

The DRG drug index continues to under perform the market and the sector index hit new multi-year lows today. SGP, which looked attractive on yesterday's bounce from $20.00, succumbed to profit taking and closed under support and its 10-dma. We are suggesting an early exit now to avoid any losses.

Picked on January 27 at $19.02
Change since picked: + 0.90
Earnings Date 02/12/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 19.2 million
 

Closed Short Plays

None
 

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