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Long Play Updates

Adaptec - ADPT - close: 3.30 change: +0.04 stop: 3.17

ADPT out performed the market with a 1.2% gain. We remain very cautious on the stock. Our first target is $3.50. Our secondary, more aggressive target is $3.70. 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: + 0.05
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 559 thousand

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BJ Services - BJS - close: 32.05 change: +0.36 stop: 30.45

BJS added another 1% and did marginally better than most of its oil service peers. Shares of BJS did not see a sharp sell-off from its highs like crude oil did. Yet shares of BJS did produce what is called a "doji" candlestick, which indicates indecision and possible turning point. This could be a volatile week in the energy stocks as crude oil endures both an options expiration and a futures expiration. 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: + 1.65
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 6.9 million

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BPZ Resources - BZP - close: 27.23 change: +1.13 stop: 22.99

Wow! The action in BZP was a surprise. Friday's session looked like a short-term top. There was no follow through and BZP out performed the markets with a 4.3% gain. We would wait for a pull back before considering new positions. Broken resistance near $25.00 should be new support. Wait for a dip near $25.00 or even $24.50 before jumping in. We're upping our stop loss to $22.99. The latest data put short interest at about 10% of the float so BZP could see more of a short squeeze here. We have two targets. They are $27.50 and $29.90. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $40 target.

Picked on June 12 at $25.53 / 1st target hit $27.50
Change since picked: + 1.70
Earnings Date 08/02/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 883 thousand

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Cognizant Tech. - CTSH - close: 35.81 change: +0.06 stop 33.65

We do not see any changes from our weekend comments on CTSH. More conservative traders might want to inch up their stops a bit. The stock looks ready to fill the gap from last November. Our target is the $38.00 mark. The P&F chart is much more bullish with a $49 target. We do not want to hold over the late July earnings report.

Picked on June 12 at $34.57
Change since picked: + 1.24
Earnings Date 07/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 4.8 million

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McDonald's - MCD - close: 59.94 chg: -0.01 stop: 58.49

MCD did not make any progress today but shares have maintained their bullish trend of higher lows. We would still consider new positions here near $60.00 or on a dip near $59.50. MCD has produced a bullish breakout from a wedge pattern (see chart). There is obvious resistance near $61.50 but we're going to aim closer to the December 2007 highs. Our target is $63.00.

Picked on June 12 at $59.34
Change since picked: + 0.01
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 6.6 million

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SLM Corp. - SLM - close: 24.70 change: +0.85 stop: 21.75*new*

We did not have to wait very long for SLM to hit one of our triggers. The stock broke through resistance near $24.00 and hit our upside trigger to buy the stock at $24.25. Our target is the $28.00-29.00 range or the 200-dma, whichever one SLM hits first. We are adjusting the stop loss to $21.75.

Picked on June 16 at $24.25 *triggered
Change since picked: + 0.45
Earnings Date 07/17/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 9.1 million

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Steel Dynamics - STLD - close: 39.35 change: -0.12 stop: 36.49

A lackluster market may have held STLD back on Monday. The stock failed to breakout over resistance at $40.00. Nor did shares pull back enough to hit our buy the dip trigger. We are suggesting two different entry points. If STLD breaks out over resistance at $40.00 then we want to buy it at $40.10. If STLD pulls back then we're suggesting readers buy it in the $38.25-38.00 zone. Our target is the $44.00-45.00 range. We do not want to hold over the July earnings report. The P&F chart is bullish with a $50 target.

Picked on June xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 07/21/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 4.6 million

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Wal-Mart - WMT - close: 59.31 change: +0.13 stop: 57.75

Once again investors bought the dip in WMT. We're not suggesting new positions at this time and don't see any changes from our weekend comments. WMT has exceeded our first target at $59.00. The Point & Figure chart points to a $68 target. We have a second, more aggressive target at $62.00.

Picked on May 22 at $56.05 /1st target exceeded
Change since picked: + 3.26
Earnings Date 08/14/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 19.1 million
 

Short Play Updates

Amer.Capital Strat. - ACAS - cls: 29.21 chg: +0.06 stop: 31.55

ACAS under performed the financials and the broker-dealers today. We remain bearish but the oversold bounce may not be over yet. Wait for a failed rally before considering new shorts. We are aiming for the January 2008 lows so our target is the $26.50-26.00 zone. The P&F chart is bearish with a $22 target. FYI: It is important for readers to note that ACAS has above average short interest. A lot of investors have seen the trend and they're piling on. The most recent data listed short interest at 15.5% of the 199-million share float. That is more than a week's worth of short interest and raises the risk of a short squeeze.

Picked on June 08 at $30.95
Change since picked: - 1.74
Earnings Date 07/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.4 million

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Allstate - ALL - close: 49.85 change: -0.04 stop: 51.51

ALL continues to slide lower inside its narrow, short-term, bearish channel. We don't see any changes from our weekend comments. If the stock reaches $50.40-50.50 readers can use it as a new entry point for shorts. We're suggesting a stop loss at $51.51 but more conservative traders might want to put theirs near $51.00 instead. Our target is the $45.25-45.00 zone. FYI: In the news today ALL announced it was buying Partnership Marketing Group, which is a roadside assistance company and part of General Electric (GE).

Picked on June 11 at $49.31
Change since picked: + 0.54
Earnings Date 07/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.9 million

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Darden Rest. - DRI - close: 33.13 change: +0.66 stop: 34.55

As we expected DRI bounced again. The stock added about 2% by the close. We are suggesting new positions but more conservative traders may want to wait for this bounce to roll over before jumping into new shorts. We have two targets. Our first target is $30.10. Our second target is $27.75.

Picked on June 13 at $32.50 *triggered
Change since picked: + 0.63
Earnings Date 06/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.0 million

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Kraft Inc. - KFT - close: 30.27 change: -0.73 stop: 31.85

KFT plunged more than 2% and hit $30.05 before bouncing. Volume was above average on the decline, which is bearish. The $30.00 level could be round-number support so don't be surprised to see an oversold bounce. Our target is $29.00. FYI: After the bell tonight KFT announced plans to spin-off its Post cereal business. This might be the reason KFT was trading up around $30.50 in after hours.

Picked on June 11 at $30.78
Change since picked: - 0.51
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 7.8 million

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Paychex Inc. - PAYX - close: 33.67 change: +0.02 stop: 34.87

PAYX posted a minor gain. We don't see any changes from our weekend comments. At this point odds are good that PAYX will reach the $34.00-34.50 region. Wait for the bounce to roll over before considering new shorts. 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: - 1.20
Earnings Date 06/25/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.4 million

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Patterson Cos. - PDCO - close: 32.34 change: -0.45 stop: 34.05

Healthcare stocks were generally lower today. PDCO spiked lower at the open but managed to pare its losses. 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: - 1.07
Earnings Date 08/21/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.6 million
 

Closed Long Plays

Williams Cos. - WMB - close: 38.67 change: -0.11 stop: 37.95

Natural gas rallied to another high and yet shares of WMB closed in the red. We have been growing increasingly more worried about the fading momentum and bearish divergences seen in WMB's technical picture. Today's lack of strength is our cue to exit. We're suggesting readers abandon ship. More aggressive traders may want to hold on since the trend is still "up". We'd rather not wait around to get stopped out.

Picked on May 22 at $38.40
Change since picked: + 0.27
Earnings Date 07/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 6.7 million
 

Closed Short Plays

None
 

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