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Long Play Updates

Adaptec - ADPT - close: 3.18 change: +0.01 stop: 2.99

ADPT showed some strength intraday with a rally above its 200-dma and a $3.26 high. Unfortunately, it gave it all back by the closing bell. This sort of failed rally pattern is short-term bearish. Once again more conservative traders may want to consider a tighter stop loss. Plus, we've been suggesting that 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: - 0.07
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 559 thousand

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Axsys Tech. - AXYS - close: 61.68 change: -0.60 stop: 57.39 *new*

AXYS encountered some profit taking but traders were buying the dip in the $60.50 region. Please note that we're raising our stop loss to $57.39. 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: + 2.52
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 124 thousand

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BJ Services - BJS - close: 30.19 change: -0.08 stop: 28.95

We are growing more and more cautious on BJS. Crude oil is breaking down and many of the oil service stocks are starting to break support. BJS is still holding above its trendline of support but we're seeing a change in the wind for the technical indicators. We are not suggesting new positions and more conservative traders may want to tighten their stops. 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: - 0.26
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 6.9 million

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AM Castle & Co - CAS - close: 31.56 change: +0.02 stop: 30.69

We don't see any change from our prior comments on CAS. The lack of follow through on its bounce is a cautionary sign for the bulls. The trend is still up but CAS appears to have run into a headwind. Once again we are suggesting that readers may want to wait for a rise past $32.50 before initiating positions. 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: - 1.27
Earnings Date 07/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 138 thousand

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Copa Holdings - CPA - close: 33.05 change: +0.12 stop: 31.40

Airline stocks were sharply higher today thanks to weakness in crude oil. Yet CPA barely participated in the sector rally. This is worrisome since it has happened two days in a row. Right now our stop loss is at breakeven but more conservative traders may want to raise their stop toward $32.00. We're not suggesting new positions. 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: + 1.65
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 589 thousand

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Mercury General - MCY - close: 51.87 change: +0.83 stop: 49.65

MCY may have finally begun to move. The stock rose 1.6% and out performed the broader market and its peers. Shares actually hit a new five-month high. 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: + 0.95
Earnings Date 05/05/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 264 thousand

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Sonoco Products - SON - close: 34.28 change: +0.82 stop: 32.99

SON actually erased yesterday's decline with a 2.45% gain. Volume came in above average. We didn't see anything specific to account for the relative strength. The bounce looks like a potential entry point to buy the stock but consider putting your stop loss just below yesterday's low. Our target is the $38.00 level. The P&F chart points to a $51 target. FYI: Maybe today's rally was fueled by news from SON's presentation at an investor conference today.

Picked on June 01 at $34.62
Change since picked: - 0.34
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 430 thousand

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United States Cellular - USM - cls: 63.65 chg: +2.30 stop: 59.95

USM really out performed today. The stock rebounded from $60.43 and didn't look back. Shares broke through resistance in the $62.50 area and closed with a 3.75 gain. 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: + 1.02
Earnings Date 08/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 129 thousand

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Williams Cos. - WMB - close: 38.14 change: -0.12 stop: 37.25

Natural gas rallied to another new high and yet shares of WMB just sat there like a bump on a log. Nothing happened today. The general trend is still positive but be cautious. 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: 37.47 change: +0.07 stop: 34.25

We don't see any changes from our comments on Tuesday night. We might be seeing a short-term top in WMS. This is now the third 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: + 1.42
Earnings Date 08/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.1 million

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Wal-Mart - WMT - close: 57.68 change: -0.09 stop: 55.95

It was a quiet day for WMT. The stock traded in a 70-cent range. The general trend is still bullish but we're not suggesting new positions at this time. Our short-term target is the $59.00 level near its recent highs. 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: + 1.49
Earnings Date 08/14/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 19.1 million
 

Short Play Updates

McDonald's - MCD - close: 57.98 change: +0.42 stop: 60.01

MCD fried up an oversold bounce but it failed at the 50-dma. The bounce may not be over but the short-term trend remains bearish. Our target is the $56.40-56.00 zone. 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: - 1.34
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 6.6 million

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Paychex Inc. - PAYX - close: 33.61 change: -0.02 stop: 35.55

PAYX didn't make much progress either direction today. We suspect that shares may try and bounce back toward the 10-dma again soon. 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: - 1.26
Earnings Date 06/25/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.4 million

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Patterson Cos. - PDCO - close: 34.05 change: +0.63 stop: 34.51

Danger! Our new short play in PDCO is reversing. The stock produced a bullish engulfing candlestick pattern today. If you entered this morning you may actually want to consider an early exit to cut your losses. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. Our target is the $30.50-30.00 zone. The P&F chart is bearish with a $28 target. FYI: The most recent data listed short interest at about 11% of the 98 million-share float. That is a relatively high degree of short interest for this stock.

Picked on June 03 at $33.42
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 08/21/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.6 million
 

Closed Long Plays

General Motors - GM - close: 17.01 chg: -0.57 stop: 16.95

The bounce in GM has rolled over. The stock pulled back toward support near $17.00 but just before the closing bell it dipped to $16.94. That was enough to stop us out.

Picked on May 27 at $17.42 /stopped out 16.95
Change since picked: - 0.41
Earnings Date 07/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 18.7 million
 

Closed Short Plays

Expeditor's Intl. - EXPD - close: 47.20 chg: +0.88 stop: 47.51

Another down day in oil lifted the transports. EXPD rallied to $47.77. Our stop loss was $47.51 so the play has been closed.

Picked on May 28 at $45.65 /stopped out 47.51
Change since picked: + 1.55
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.7 million

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Porfolio Recov.Assoc. - PRAA - cls: 39.91 chg: +0.25 stop: 41.01

It looks like our stop loss may have been too tight. PRAA spiked lower, hit our trigger to short it at $39.19, and then rallied back to $41.25. Our stop was at $41.01. The trend still looks bearish so keep an eye on PRAA.

Picked on June 04 at $39.19 *triggered/stopped same day
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 157 thousand
 

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