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Long Play Updates

Adaptec - ADPT - close: 3.17 change: +0.01 stop: 2.99

It wasn't much but ADPT did show some relative strength today. Traders bought the dip at $3.11. We remain bullish but would hesitate to open new positions at this time. More conservative traders might want to wait for a rally over $3.30 as an entry point. Our target is the December 2007 highs. We'll try to exit in the $3.65-3.70 zone. The stock can be somewhat volatile so we do consider this a higher-risk play. Our time frame is several weeks. FYI: The most recent data listed short interest at more than 7% of the 118 million-share float. Based on ADPT's average daily volume that is a lot of short interest and the stock could see a short squeeze.

Picked on May 28 at $ 3.25
Change since picked: - 0.08
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 559 thousand

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Axsys Tech. - AXYS - close: 62.28 change: +0.74 stop: 55.99

AXYS continues to show relative strength. The stock added another 1.2% and hit another new high albeit on very low volume. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. Our target is the top of the channel in the 64.00-65.00 range.

Picked on June 01 at $59.16
Change since picked: + 3.12
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 124 thousand

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BJ Services - BJS - close: 30.27 change: +0.12 stop: 28.95

Oil services stock BJS ignored weakness in crude oil and the oil sector to post a minor gain. Traders bought the dip at $29.61. Readers may want to wait for a rise past $31.00 before initiating new positions. Yesterday we suggested buying a bounce from $29.50 and BJS delivered that opportunity today. Our initial target is the $33.00-34.00 range. The P&F chart is bullish with a $52 target.

Picked on May 28 at $30.45
Change since picked: - 0.18
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 6.9 million

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AM Castle & Co - CAS - close: 31.54 change: -0.49 stop: 30.69

We are urging caution on CAS. The short-term technical indicators are growing worse. Shares are effectively bouncing inside the $31-33 trading range but inside that range it's inching lower. A rebound from current levels would look like a new entry point but readers may feel more comfortable waiting for a rise past $32.50 or over $33.00. Our target is the $36.50-37.00 zone, which is just under its all-time highs. We're suggesting a stop loss under last week's low but more conservative traders might be able to get away with a slightly tighter stop.

Picked on June 01 at $32.83
Change since picked: - 1.29
Earnings Date 07/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 138 thousand

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Copa Holdings - CPA - close: 32.93 change: -0.10 stop: 31.40

Another down day for crude oil powered the airline index (XAL) to a 2.8% gain. Yet shares of CPA failed to rally with its peers. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. Our target is the $34.50-35.00 zone. FYI: More aggressive traders may want to aim for $36.00 or its 200-dma near 38.45.

Picked on May 27 at $31.40
Change since picked: + 1.53
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 589 thousand

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General Motors - GM - close: 17.58 chg: +0.14 stop: 16.95

GM was one of the big headline stocks today. The company held its annual shareholder meeting. Prior to the meeting the company announced it was closing four truck plants in an effort to focus on smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. By shutting the plants GM will save $1 billion a year. During the meeting GM's CEO said they believe that the rise in gasoline and the changes in consumer's buying patterns and desires to smaller, fuel-efficient cars is a permanent one. The stock rallied to $18.18 midday before curtailing its gains. We would still be tempted to buy a bounce but keep a tight stop loss. Our target is the $19.50 mark. The most recent data listed short interest at more than 17% of the 530 million-share float.

Picked on May 27 at $17.42
Change since picked: + 0.16
Earnings Date 07/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 18.7 million

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Mercury General - MCY - close: 51.04 change: +0.03 stop: 49.65

MCY did not participate in the market weakness but neither did it rally. The general pattern is still a bullish one but the market's tone doesn't inspire us to suggest new positions here. Our short-term target is the $54.00-55.00 zone. The P&F chart is a lot more bullish with a $68 target.

Picked on May 28 at $50.92 *triggered/gap higher entry
Change since picked: + 0.12
Earnings Date 05/05/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 264 thousand

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Sonoco Products - SON - close: 33.46 change: -0.79 stop: 32.99*new*

Ouch! Today's 2.3% decline in SON looks like bad news for the bulls. The move actually looks like a reversal of last week's breakout making the rally above $34.00 look like a bull trap. More conservative traders may want to abandon ship right here. We are going to give SON one more day to rebound but we're inching up our stop loss to $32.99. Our target is the $38.00 level. The P&F chart points to a $51 target. FYI: SON is due to present at a basics and industrials conference on June 4th.

Picked on June 01 at $34.62
Change since picked: - 1.16
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 430 thousand

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United States Cellular - USM - cls: 61.35 chg: -0.90 stop: 59.95

The general weakness in the market is throwing a wet blanket over USM's bounce from support. The stock lost 1.4% and appears headed back toward support near $60.00. A bounce from $60.00 would be an entry point but you may not want to initiate positions if the major averages are falling. Our target is the recent highs in the $67.00-67.50 zone. More aggressive traders could aim for $70 or its 200-ema. The P&F chart is bullish with an $85 target.

Picked on June 01 at $62.63
Change since picked: - 1.28
Earnings Date 08/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 129 thousand

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Williams Cos. - WMB - close: 38.26 change: +0.38 stop: 37.25

A new relative high in natural gas gave WMB some relative strength. The stock added 1% and looks poised to keep climbing. More conservative traders could try and tighten their stops a little bit more. Our target is the $42.00-42.50 zone. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher. The Point & Figure chart points to $56.

Picked on May 22 at $38.40
Change since picked: - 0.14
Earnings Date 07/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 6.7 million

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WMS Industries - WMS - close: 37.40 change: +0.05 stop: 34.25

We might be seeing a short-term top in WMS. This is the second day in a row that the stock stalled out near $38.00. More conservative traders may want to exit now. Any downturn could pull WMS back toward support at its 200-dma. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. Our target is the $39.50-40.00 zone.

Picked on May 28 at $36.05
Change since picked: + 1.35
Earnings Date 08/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.1 million

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Wal-Mart - WMT - close: 57.77 change: +0.57 stop: 55.95 *new*

A pre-opening upgrade for WMT sparked a gap higher in the stock price today. Yet the rally ran out of steam near $58.00. We're starting to see a potential trend of lower highs. We're not suggesting new bullish positions and we're inching up our stop loss to $55.95. Our short-term target is the $59.00 level near its recent highs. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher. The Point & Figure chart points to a $68 target. We are going to tentatively set a secondary, aggressive target at $62.00 but we suggest readers take some money off the table at $59.00.

Picked on May 22 at $56.05
Change since picked: + 1.58
Earnings Date 08/14/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 19.1 million
 

Short Play Updates

Expeditor's Intl. - EXPD - close: 46.32 chg: +0.03 stop: 47.51

A sell-off in oil was not enough to fuel another rally in EXPD but we did notice a bounce from its 10-dma. Look for another drop under $46.00 as a potential entry point for shorts. We have two targets. Our first, short-term target is $42.50. Our secondary target is the $40.25 mark. The P&F chart is bearish with a $38 target. FYI: The most recent data listed short interest at 6% of the 209 million-share float.

Picked on May 28 at $45.65 *triggered
Change since picked: + 0.67
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.7 million

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McDonald's - MCD - close: 57.56 change: -0.99 stop: 60.01

MCD is looking a little stale. The stock broke down under its 50-dma and under its four-month trendline of support. This is good news for the bears. Please note we are adjusting our target to $56.40-56.00. The 200-dma near $56.30 might act as technical support. We are contemplating a secondary, more aggressive target but at this time we would exit completely near the 200-dma. Currently the P&F chart is still bullish.

Picked on June 01 at $59.32
Change since picked: - 1.76
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 6.6 million

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Paychex Inc. - PAYX - close: 33.63 change: -0.16 stop: 35.55 *new*

PAYX is trending lower and hit a new relative low today. We are adjusting our stop loss to $35.55. Our target is the $31.00-30.00 zone. FYI: The most recent data listed short interest at 5% of the 320 million-share float. That's several days worth of short interest.

Picked on May 22 at $34.87
Change since picked: - 1.24
Earnings Date 06/25/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.4 million
 

Closed Long Plays

Celanese Corp. - CE - close: 47.49 change: -0.84 stop: 46.85

We are suggesting an early exit in CE. The stock has been struggling to maintain its upward momentum the last few weeks. While last Friday it looked like shares might breakout higher CE has stumbled instead. There is still potential support at $47 and $46 but we're calling it quits and suggest traders exit before this turns into a loss.

Picked on May 11 at $46.35 /exiting early
Change since picked: + 1.14
Earnings Date 04/21/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.3 million

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Corning Inc. - GLW - close: 26.77 chg: -0.10 stop: 26.45

Shares of GLW dipped toward the bottom edge of its rising channel and tagged our stop loss at $26.45. GLW did rebound from its lows but not by much and the very short-term trend is definitely negative.

Picked on May 27 at $27.27 /stopped out 26.45
Change since picked: - 0.50
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 13.3 million
 

Closed Short Plays

None
 

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