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Long Play Updates

Alon USA Energy - ALJ - cls: 11.27 chg: +0.38 stop: 9.95 *new*

ALJ continues to show relative strength. The stock leapt higher after testing the $10.50 level intraday. Over the weekend we suggested readers look for a dip near $10.50 as a new entry point. ALJ closed up almost 3.5% on a down day in the market, which is impressive. We are adjusting our stop loss to $9.95. Our target is the 100-dma or $12.50, whichever ALJ hits first. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $17 target.

Picked on August 22 at $10.75
Change since picked: + 0.52
Earnings Date 11/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 604 thousand

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AMR Corp. - AMR - close: 10.52 change: +0.84 stop: *see details*

Right now there are a lot of analysts expecting crude oil to dip back toward $110 and probably $100 a barrel before moving higher, especially after Friday's big bearish reversal. If oil does move lower it would be bullish for the airlines. Yet if I were just looking at a chart of AMR I would expect AMR to move lower. The stock produced a failed rally at its 10-dma today, which looks like an entry point for shorts. We are not suggesting shorts at this time because of the short-term pressure on oil. Right now our play is to buy a dip in AMR in the $8.15-8.00 zone. The $8.00 region is both price support and technical support with its converging 50 and 100-dma. If triggered at $8.15 we'll use a stop loss at $7.55. We're setting several targets. Our first target will be $9.90. Our second target will be $11.90. Our third target will be $14.90. We have also listed an alternative strategy for risk-averse traders. You can lower your risk with a collar on AMR. When you buy the stock sell an out of the money call option (per 100 shares of AMR that you own) and use this money from the call option to help pay for a put option to protect you should AMR suddenly plunge lower. It's not a perfect strategy. You limit your upside and will not see all the targets we listed but you also limit your downside, which may help some readers sleep better at night. Of course if you're having trouble sleeping over your trades you should focus more on money and position-size management.

Picked on August xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 10/15/2008 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 24.6 million

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CNX Gas - CXG - cls: 30.32 chg: -0.14 stop: 29.35

In spite of the broad-based market weakness shares of CXG managed to hold its Friday's lows around $29.80. This move looks like a new bullish entry point or readers can wait for a bounce from here (over $30.50 or over $30.80). More conservative traders may want to use a tighter stop closer to Friday's low (29.83). Our target is the $34.00-35.00 zone.

Picked on August 21 at $31.05 *triggered
Change since picked: - 0.73
Earnings Date 10/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 373 thousand

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Exterran Holdings - EXH - close: 46.97 change: -0.53 stop: 48.75

If EXH doesn't bounce tomorrow we're going to drop it as a bullish candidate. Right now our strategy calls for readers to wait for a breakout over $50.00. Our suggested entry point is $50.25. More nimble traders could try buying a bounce over $47.50 with a very tight stop loss! If triggered at $50.25 our target is the $54.00-55.00 zone. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher. There isn't any clear resistance until the $60 region. FYI: The latest data listed short interest at 8% of the 33 million-share float.

Picked on August xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 10/27/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.2 million

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Petrohawk Energy - HK - close: 33.84 chg: +0.41 stop: 29.90

HK continues to show relative strength. The stock looks poised to move higher if the market is willing to cooperate. More conservative traders may want to raise their stop to breakeven or higher. We have two targets. Our first target is $34.85. Our second target is $38.50.

Picked on August 20 at $30.55 *triggered
Change since picked: + 3.29
Earnings Date 11/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.3 million

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Monster Worldwide - MNST - cls: 19.04 chg: -0.47 stop: 18.45

Some of MNST's short-term technical oscillators are suggesting the next move will be lower. Considering the market's behavior today more conservative traders may want to abandon ship right now and just exit early. We would expect a dip to the $18.75-18.65 level. We are not suggesting new positions at this time but if you are feeling adventurous look for a bounce near $18.70 or a dip near $18.70 and then buy the bounce back above $19.00-19.25. Our short-term target is the $21.75 mark.

Picked on August 20 at $19.11
Change since picked: - 0.07
Earnings Date 10/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.1 million

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Titanium Metals - TIE - cls: 12.92 change: +0.73 stop: 11.49

It was an interesting day for TIE. The stock was steadily falling during the first half of the session. Selling seemed to pause near $11.60 midday. Then suddenly, without warning, the stock just explodes higher and volume floods into the stock. TIE closed up almost 6% on strong volume more than double its normal trading. We are aiming for $14.50 but more conservative traders may want to exit at the descending 100-dma.

Picked on August 21 at $12.47
Change since picked: + 0.45
Earnings Date 10/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.4 million
 

Short Play Updates

Bank of America - BAC - cls: 28.96 change: -1.25 stop: 31.05*new*

Financials stocks were leading the market lower on Monday. BAC gave up about 4%. There is still technical support near its 50-dma but today's move looks like another entry point for shorts. We are dropping our stop loss to $31.05. Our target is $25.25. We're going to set a secondary target of $22.50 but strongly suggest readers take some money off the table at our first target.

Picked on August 18 at $29.30
Change since picked: - 0.34
Earnings Date 10/16/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 90.8 million

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Cinci. Fincl. Corp. - CINF - cls: 27.64 change: -0.56 stop: 28.05

We don't see any changes from our weekend comments on CINF. Aggressive traders could short it now with a stop above Friday's high. We are currently waiting for a breakdown under $27.00 with a trigger for shorts at $26.85. Nimble traders might want to consider shorts on a failed rally near the top of the trading range around $29.00. If triggered we have two targets. Our first target is $25.05. Our second target is $23.00.

Picked on August xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 10/29/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.2 million

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Capital Trust - CT - close: 12.03 change: -0.96 stop: 14.01 *new*

It was another painful session for CT shareholders. Bears, on the other hand, had a great day. CT lost more than 7.3% and closed near its lows for the session. We're inching down our stop loss to $14.01. If you have not taken any money off the table yet we would strongly suggest you do so now. The stock has already exceeded our $12.55 target. We are adjusting our secondary target from $10.25 to $10.75. Volume on today's sell-off was approaching three times the normal flow, which is very bearish. This remains an aggressive play because the stock is so volatile. The most recent data listed short interest at almost 28% of the small 19 million-share float. That definitely raises our risk for a short squeeze.

Picked on August 04 at $14.38 /1st target hit $12.55
Change since picked: - 2.35
Earnings Date 07/29/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 278 thousand

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Merrill Lynch - MER - close: 24.20 change: -1.02 stop: 27.25

Broker-dealer stocks followed the rest of the financials lower. The XBD index lost 2.9%. MER gave up 4% and closed near its lows for the session. News that the S. Korean government warned Korean banks against making any acquisitions in overseas financials put the kibosh on last week's talk of a LEH buyout from a state-run Korean bank. More conservative traders may want to use a tighter stop. Our first target is $22.50. Our second target is $20.25. The Point & Figure chart is bearish with a $7.00 target.

Picked on August 07 at $26.10
Change since picked: - 1.90
Earnings Date 10/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 42.2 million
 

Closed Long Plays

Carpenter Tech. - CRS - cls: 37.86 chg: -1.29 stop: 37.95

It was a negative day for CRS. This morning the company announced it was raising its litigation reserve from $5 million to $21 million as the company plans ahead for a potential loss in court. The decision followed a court ruling over CRS' alleged disposal of waste in Bucks County, PA back in 1973 and 1974. We are dropping CRS as a bullish candidate because shares broke down from their $38-40 trading range. We had been waiting for a bullish breakout over $40.00 with a trigger at $40.25. A trigger CRS failed to hit. More aggressive traders may want to consider bearish positions now.

Picked on August xx at $xx.xx *never opened
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 10/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 865 thousand
 

Closed Short Plays

None
 

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