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Long Play Updates

AMR Corp. - AMR - close: 9.35 change: -0.26 stop: *see details*

Crude oil is creeping higher as hurricane Gustav looms out in the Gulf of Mexico. This is pushing the airlines lower. Shares of AMR slipped to $8.50 intraday. AMR got a little push lower after Citigroup downgraded the stock to a "sell" this morning. We are starting to wonder if our suggested entry point at $8.15 is too high. AMR should have technical support at its 50-dma and 100-dma, which have converged at $7.95. We are adjusting our suggested entry to buy AMR to $8.00-7.85. Our new stop loss, if triggered at $8.00, will be $7.45.

We're setting two targets. Our first target will be $9.90. Our second target will be $11.90. 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 but you also limit your downside, which may help some readers sleep better at night.

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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Basic Energy Services - BAS - cls: 29.49 chg: +1.15 stop: 26.45

BAS soared on Wednesday posting a 4% gain and a new six-week high. Volume was above average on the rally, which is bullish. The $30.00 level might be round-number resistance so BAS might see a dip here. If you're looking for a new entry point a dip near $28.00 might work. More conservative traders may want to use a tighter stop loss. Our target on BAS is $31.50. FYI: The most recent data listed short interest at 7% of the small 21.7 million-share float.

Picked on August 26 at $28.34
Change since picked: + 1.15
Earnings Date 11/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 437 thousand

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CNX Gas - CXG - cls: 30.59 chg: -0.21 stop: 29.65 *new*

The relative weakness in CXG today was a surprise. Natural gas gapped open higher this morning and then faded lower. Shares of CXG followed suit with a gap higher but the drift lower was a lot sharper in CXG. A bounce from current levels or near $30.00 can be used as a new bullish entry point. We are raising our stop loss to $29.65. Our target is the $34.00-35.00 zone.

Picked on August 21 at $31.05 *triggered
Change since picked: - 0.46
Earnings Date 10/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 373 thousand

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Exterran Holdings - EXH - close: 48.49 change: +0.15 stop: 48.75

Bulls were buying the dip in EXH near $48.00 midday. The stock acts like it's going to try and breakout over resistance near $50.00 soon. We're still waiting for that breakout. Our suggested entry point is $50.25. If triggered 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: 36.23 chg: +0.76 stop: 31.89

Attention traders: this is a potential exit point in HK. As expected shares of HK rallied to its 50-dma. The intraday high was $37.45. Our first target at $36.00 has already been exceeded and we've been aiming for $38.50 as our second target. However, if there was a good spot to exit early then this is it - right at resistance. We strongly suggest readers consider an early exit here to lock in gains. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. If HK closes under $35.00 we're going to close the play.

Picked on August 20 at $30.55 */1st target exceeded (37.45 hi)
Change since picked: + 5.68
Earnings Date 11/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.3 million

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Hornbeck Offshore - HOS - cls: 43.94 change: +0.84 stop: 40.95

The approaching hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico should drive up oil, oil stocks and the oil service stocks. If the oil platforms in the Gulf get hit hard by the storm it should mean big business for HOS. If shares dip we would jump in on a dip near $42.00 as another entry point. We'll try and play with a stop loss under Monday's low. More aggressive traders might want a stop under $40.00. There is plenty of overhead resistance so this could be a tough ride higher. Our target is the $48.00 mark.

Picked on August 26 at $43.10
Change since picked: + 0.84
Earnings Date 10/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 815 thousand

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Monster Worldwide - MNST - cls: 19.40 chg: +0.19 stop: 18.94

MNST is trying to creep higher. A move over today's high (19.70) or a move over $20.00 could be a new entry point. Keep in mind that the $21.00 level has been resistance in the past. Plus, the 100-dma near 21.83 might also be resistance. Right now our target is $21.75 but we'll have to adjust it for the descending 100-dma. We are not suggesting new positions at this time.

Picked on August 20 at $19.11
Change since picked: + 0.29
Earnings Date 10/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.1 million

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UltraShort Midcap - MZZ - close: 56.37 chg: -1.03 stop: 55.65

The Midcap index bounced today and that means a loss for the MZZ. We do not see any changes from our previous comments. Readers should remember that the MZZ will move twice the inverse of the S&P MidCap 400 index. Our suggested entry point to buy the MZZ is $58.75. If triggered we're suggesting a stop loss under the 8/22/08 low of $55.71. Our target is the $64.50 mark.

Picked on August xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume: 704 thousand

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Titanium Metals - TIE - cls: 13.75 change: +0.29 stop: 11.90*new*

TIE continues to post gains and on strong volume although volume today wasn't quite as strong as the last couple of sessions. We are adjusting our stop loss to $11.90. We don't see any changes from our previous comments. Our target is the 100-dma in the $14.35-14.50 range. More aggressive traders could aim higher (like $15.00) we'll exit at $14.35. We are not suggesting new positions.

Picked on August 21 at $12.47
Change since picked: + 1.28
Earnings Date 10/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.4 million
 

Short Play Updates

Bank of America - BAC - cls: 29.65 change: +0.63 stop: 31.05

Financial stocks bounced on Wednesday and BAC added over 2% but failed to reclaim the $30 level. The intraday charts are growing more bullish. We're turning more defensive. We're not suggesting new plays at this time. More conservative traders might want to adjust their stop loss toward $30.50. We have two targets. Our first target is $25.25. Our second, more aggressive target is $22.50. We strongly suggest readers take some money off the table at our first target.

Picked on August 18 at $29.30
Change since picked: + 0.35
Earnings Date 10/16/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 90.8 million

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Cinci. Fincl. Corp. - CINF - cls: 28.88 change: +0.66 stop: 28.05

CINF displayed some relative strength with a 2.3% gain. Yet the rally failed to make it over resistance near the top of its trading range. Nimble traders might want to consider shorts on a failed rally near the top of the trading range around $29.00. Of course a breakout over $29.00 would be bullish. We have been waiting for a breakdown under $27.00 with a trigger for shorts at $26.85. 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: 11.61 change: -0.14 stop: 13.55*new*

CT is growing more oversold and shares will eventually see a bounce back. We're adjusting our stop loss to $13.55. If you have not taken profits yet we strongly suggest you take some money off the table. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. The stock has already exceeded our $12.55 target. Our secondary target is $10.75. 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: - 2.77
Earnings Date 07/29/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 278 thousand

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Merrill Lynch - MER - close: 25.27 change: +1.17 stop: 26.10

Looking at the very short-term, shares of MER look like they may have found a temporary bottom. MER, like many stocks in the financials, could be setting up for another oversold relief rally. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. 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: - 0.83
Earnings Date 10/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 42.2 million

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NYSE Euronext - NYX - cls: 39.57 chg: +1.31 stop: 41.51

Let me warn you again that shares of NYX can be a volatile bunch. The stock just erased yesterday's losses with a 3.4% gain. The general trend remains bearish but wait for the bounce to roll over before considering new bearish positions. The Point & Figure chart is bearish with a $32 target. We have set two targets. Our first target is $35.50. The $35.00 level might be round-number support. Our second target is $31.00. FYI: The most recent data listed short interest at 6% of the 257 million-share float. That's about three days worth of short interest.

Picked on August 25 at $39.41
Change since picked: + 0.16
Earnings Date 11/03/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.0 million

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Financial Sector SPDR - XLF - cls: 20.56 chg: +0.39 stop: 20.75

We are still sitting on the sidelines with the XLF. I am repeating myself if you've already read the rest of tonight's updates but the financials are trying to bounce and look poised to rebound, especially if you just look at the very short-term. We're going to stick to our plan and wait for a breakdown. We are suggesting readers use a trigger at $19.49 to short the XLF (or buy put options). If we are triggered at $19.49 we are suggesting a stop loss at $20.75. Our target is the $17.00 mark. The July 2008 low was $16.77.

Picked on August xx at $xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.000
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume: 201 million
 

Closed Long Plays

Alon USA Energy - ALJ - cls: 12.29 chg: +1.08 stop: 10.45

Target achieved. Oil refiners traded higher today and ALJ rallied to an intraday high of $12.45. That is exactly what we needed. Last night our update said our target was the 100-dma at $12.45. Shares of ALJ look short-term overbought and due for a correction and with the stock facing resistance now would be the time to expect a pull back. We'd keep an eye on ALJ for another opportunity to play it.

Picked on August 22 at $10.75 /target achieved 12.45
Change since picked: + 1.54
Earnings Date 11/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 604 thousand
 

Closed Short Plays

None
 

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