The market's strength was enough to close out a couple of bearish plays today.


BULLISH Play Updates

Agrium Inc. - AGU - close: 50.93 change: +0.13 stop: 47.40

Traders bought the dip near $50.25 this afternoon. I remain bullish on AGU with the stock over $50.00. Our first target is $54.75. Our second target is $59.75. Currently the Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $59 target.

FYI: Agrium (AGU) is trying to buy rival firm CF Industries (CF) but CF keeps rejecting the offer calling it too low. At the same time CF is trying to buy Terra Industries (TRA) and TRA keeps rejecting the offer calling it too low. Eventually one of these companies is going to give up or they're finally going to make a big enough offer or somebody else might step in and start bidding. There is a risk that someone bids too much and the market could think they overpaid, which might push the stock lower. This M&A dance has been going on for months and it will probably continue for months so I'm not expecting it to have much short-term impact on the stock.

Entry on September 08 at $50.65 /gap higher entry  
Change since picked:     + 0.28   			
Earnings Date          11/05/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       1.9 million 
Listed on September 05, 2009    


Citigroup - C - close: 4.66 change: -0.02 stop: 4.29

The action in C was disappointing. Shares failed to participate in the rally and I'm seeing more short-term technicals begin to roll over into a bearish posture. You need to be sure you're comfortable with how much volatility you're willing to stomach here. C can easily dip back toward $4.30. and possibly the $4.20 level. More aggressive traders might want to adjust their stops down to $4.19-4.15. I'm not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. Let's see where C can bounce first. Keep an eye on the $4.50-4.60 zone. Due to the volatility I'm suggesting very small position sizes.

Our first target to take profits is at $5.40. Our second target to exit is $5.95.

Entry on September 03 at $ 4.87 /gap higher entry
                             /listed at $4.77
Change since picked:     - 0.21   			
Earnings Date          10/16/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       1.0 billion    
Listed on September 03, 2009    


Cracker Barrel - CBRL - close: 31.69 chg: +0.45 stop: 27.90

The rally continues for CBRL. I think shares are a little overbought here. We want to buy the stock near $30.00. I'm suggesting traders buy the dip at $30.15 but we can really use the $30.15-29.00 zone as an entry point. If triggered our first target is $32.75. Our second target is $34.90. Our time frame is six to eight weeks.

Entry on September xx at $xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 30.15
Change since picked:     + 0.00   			
Earnings Date          10/27/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:           thousand
Listed on September 08, 2009    


China Mobile Ltd. - CHL - close: 50.78 chg: -0.29 stop: 47.90

CHL delivered a normal pull back after its multi-day bounce. I don't see any changes from my previous updates. Our first target is $54.00. Our second target is $58.00. Our time frame is several weeks.

Entry on    August 31 at $48.73 /gap down entry point
Change since picked:     + 2.05   			
Earnings Date          00/00/?? (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       2.3 million 
Listed on  August 29, 2009    


Capstone Turbine - CPST - close: 1.55 change: +0.19 stop: 0.98

Unless you're willing to chase this move we may have to give up on CPST. The stock's bullish posture has produced another 14% gain and new highs for the year. Volume was big on the rally. The $1.50-1.70 level could be resistance so I hesitate to chase it.

I'm keeping CPST on the play list for a couple more days. The plan is to buy a dip at $1.15. Yesterday I suggested more aggressive traders buy it over $1.45.

CPST's P&F chart is bullish with a $2.88 target. I'm setting our first target to take profits at $1.50. We'll tentatively set a second target at $1.85. Remember, just because the stock is "cheap" don't go overboard.

Entry on    August xx at $xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 1.15
Change since picked:     + 0.00   			
Earnings Date          11/09/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       4.8 million 
Listed on  August 29, 2009    


Carpenter Tech. - CRS - close: 22.29 change: -0.28 stop: 19.75

CRS found some profit taking on Wednesday. Wait for a dip near $22.00 or for CRS to fill the gap near $21.00 as our next entry point. Our first target is $24.90. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher.

Entry on September 05 at $21.45 /gap higher entry
                             /originally listed at $20.92
Change since picked:     + 0.84   			
Earnings Date          10/28/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       536 thousand
Listed on September 05, 2009    


Darden Restaurants - DRI - close: 34.70 chg: +0.55 stop: 32.45

DRI was kind enough to provide us another entry point with a dip near its rising 10-dma this morning. Our first target is the $39.40 mark.

Entry on September 05 at $34.82 
                              /originally listed at $34.41
Change since picked:     - 0.12   			
Earnings Date          09/29/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       2.6 million 
Listed on September 05, 2009    


Ford Motor Co. - F - close: 7.39 change: +0.09 stop: 7.39

Ford is still drifting sideways. I don't see any changes from my prior comments. I'm suggesting we stay with the two strategies already listed.

We have a breakout trigger to buy F at $7.85 with a stop at $7.39.

We have a buy the dip trigger at $6.50 with a stop at $5.99. We want to trade small positions no matter what trigger F hits.

If triggered at $7.85 our first target is just under the old highs at $8.80. Our second target is $9.40.

Entry on    August xx at $xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 7.85 or $6.50
Change since picked:     + 0.00   			
Earnings Date          11/05/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:        90 million 
Listed on  August 27, 2009    


IDEX Corp. - IEX - close: 29.25 change: +1.11 stop: 25.75

The rally in IEX is accelerating. Readers should prepare to take some money off the table. Our first target is $29.85. I am adding a second target at $32.00. I would sell most of our position at $29.85. The P&F chart is forecasting a $39 target.

Entry on    August 17 at $26.10 *triggered         
Change since picked:     + 3.25   			
Earnings Date          07/20/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       570 thousand
Listed on  July 25, 2009    


J.P.Morgan Chase - JPM - close: 42.86 change: +0.32 stop: 39.90

JPM struggled with the $43.00 level today. I'd prefer to buy the stock on another bounce from $41.00 or a move over $43.50 again. Our plan was to use smaller position sizes (1/2 to 1/4 our normal size). Our target is $47.40. My time frame is about six weeks.

Entry on    August 21 at $43.50 *triggered (1/2 to 1/4 normal size)
Change since picked:     - 0.64   			
Earnings Date          07/16/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:        55 million 
Listed on  July 18, 2009    


Kirby Corp. - KEX - close: 38.15 change: -0.29 stop: 35.25

KEX tagged resistance near $39.00 and stalled. Shares pulled back toward the $38.00 level. I'd prefer to open new positions in the $37.20-37.00 zone. Our first target to take profits is at $39.95. Our second and final target is $42.40. FYI: The P&F chart is bullish with a $57 target.

Entry on September 08 at $37.70 /triggered/gap higher entry
Change since picked:     + 0.45   			
Earnings Date          10/29/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       310 thousand
Listed on September 05, 2009    


Altria Group Inc. - MO - close: 18.59 change: +0.07 stop: 17.90

MO is inching higher, which is what we expected. If you're the patient type then we might see an entry point near $18.25-18.15. I'm suggesting bullish positions now with a stop at $17.90. Our first target is $19.90. The P&F chart is bullish with a $23.00 target. Our time frame is several weeks. Make sure you have the patience for this one before jumping in.

Entry on September 05 at $18.50 
Change since picked:     + 0.09   			
Earnings Date          10/22/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:      15.5 million 
Listed on September 05, 2009    


Microsoft - MSFT - close: 24.78 change: -0.04 stop: 22.95

MSFT failed to participate in the rally even though tech stocks were leading the way higher. Currently our target is $27.75.

Entry on      July 27 at $23.00
Change since picked:     + 1.78   			
Earnings Date          07/23/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:        58 million 
Listed on  July 23, 2009    


Playboy Ent. - PLA - close: 2.69 change: +0.00 stop: 2.45

It was another quiet session for PLA. The stock closed unchanged. I would still consider new positions here or readers can wait for another dip or bounce near $2.50.

Our first target to take profits is at $3.30. Our second target is $3.95. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $7.50 target.

Entry on September 01 at $ 2.65
Change since picked:     + 0.04   			
Earnings Date          11/05/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       370 thousand
Listed on  August 29, 2009    


Raytheon Co. - RTN - close: 46.44 change: +0.15 stop: 46.40

RTN managed a minor gain but the posture still looks a little bearish. We may want to watch for a bearish entry point instead of a bullish one. Currently the plan is to buy RTN on a breakout higher with a trigger at $48.65. If triggered our first target is $52.50. Our second target is $54.85. If RTN breaks $45 we may want to go short.

Entry on    August xx at $xx.xx <-- TRIGGER 48.65
Change since picked:     + 0.00   			
Earnings Date          10/22/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       2.7 million 
Listed on  August 22, 2009    


Ship Finance Intl. - SFL - close: 12.03 change: +0.02 stop: 11.70

SFL is still clinging to the $12.00 level and its 50-dma. However, the failure to rally with the rest of the market today is not a good sign. More conservative traders may want to abandon ship right now! I'm not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. Our first target is $14.80. Our second target is $17.00. Our time frame is several weeks. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $28 target.

Entry on    August 27 at $12.80 *triggered
Change since picked:     - 0.77   			
Earnings Date          11/27/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       499 thousand
Listed on  August 25, 2009    


Schlumberger - SLB - close: 57.36 change: -0.74 stop: 53.85

After yesterday's big pop higher SLB hit some profit taking today. Look for a dip back toward $56.00 as an entry point. Our first target is $62.50. Our second target is $67.50. FYI: The P&F chart is bullish with a $73 target.

Entry on September 05 at $56.93 /gap higher entry
                             /originally listed at $55.87
Change since picked:     + 0.43   			
Earnings Date          10/23/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       8.7 million 
Listed on September 05, 2009    


TEVA Pharmaceuticals - TEVA - close: 52.41 change: +1.03 stop: 48.95

TEVA displayed relative strength today with a 2% gain and what appears to be a breakout over the trend of lower highs. Our first target is $54.75. Our second target is $59.50. Our time frame is eight to ten weeks.

Entry on    August 17 at $50.50 *triggered                
Change since picked:     + 1.91   			
Earnings Date          11/05/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       5.3 million 
Listed on  August 05, 2009    


Ultra(Long) Financials - UYG - close: 5.59 change: +0.15 stop: 4.90

Financials were starting to gain some steam today. The UYG has now rallied past its 10 and 20-dma.

Our first target to take profits is at $6.00. Our second target is $6.50. This can be a very volatile security. It's not for the faint of heart.

Entry on September 03 at $ 5.29 
Change since picked:     + 0.30   			
Earnings Date          00/00/00 
Average Daily Volume:      47.8 million 
Listed on September 03, 2009    


BEARISH Play Updates

Akamai Tech. - AKAM - close: 17.79 chg: +0.47 stop: 18.60

AKAM rallied toward $18.00 and resistance at its 200-dma. The rally stalled and volume was light. If shares roll over here it's probably a new entry point for bearish positions. More conservative traders may want to lower their stops closer to $18.00. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Our first target is $16.25. More aggressive traders may want to aim lower.

Entry on    August 11 at $18.44 
Change since picked:     - 0.65   			
Earnings Date          10/29/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:      10.4 million 
Listed on  August 11, 2009    


Electronic Arts - ERTS - close: 18.53 change: -0.40 stop: 19.55

The oversold bounce appears to be failing near the $19.00 level. This looks like a new entry point. Our first target to take profits is at $17.05. Our second and final target is at $16.15. FYI: The P&F chart is currently bearish with a $14 target.

Entry on    August 29 at $18.31 /gap down entry
                              /originally listed at $18.76
Change since picked:     + 0.22   			
Earnings Date          10/29/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       9.3 million 
Listed on  August 29, 2009    


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

Goodrich Petrol. - GDP - close: 24.62 change: +1.78 stop: 24.25

The short covering in GDP continued on Wednesday and shares hit our stop loss t $24.25. The stock closed up with a 7.7% gain. Aggressive traders may want to keep GDP on their watch list to see if the stock rolls over under its 200-dma. The longer-term trend for GDP is down.

chart:

Entry on September 01 at $22.44 
Change since picked:     + 1.81 <-- stopped @ 24.25 (+8.0%)
Earnings Date          11/04/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       524 thousand
Listed on September 01, 2009    


Northwest Pipe Co. - NWPX - close: 33.58 change: +0.66 stop: 34.10

The oversold bounce in NWPX has now reached four days in a row. Shares managed to peek over the $34.00 level and hit our stop loss at $34.10 before trimming its gains. If NWPX rolls over from here nimble traders may want to reload and try again. The trend is still down.

chart:

Entry on September 01 at $31.42 /gap down entry
                             /originally listed at $31.73
Change since picked:     + 2.68<-- stopped @ 34.10 (+8.5%)
Earnings Date          10/22/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:        57 thousand
Listed on September 01, 2009