We have several companies about to report earnings soon and we're raising stops ahead of their reports.


BULLISH Play Updates

Apartment Investment & Mgmt - AIV - cls: 14.82 chg: -0.43 stop: 13.95

AIV's close under $15.00 is short-term bearish. The next stop is probably the $14.50 level and its 30-dma, which should be close to the trendline of higher lows. Wait for a bounce before considering new positions.

Our first target to take profits is at $16.50. Our second target is $18.50 but we may not have time. The plan is to exit ahead of the October 30th earnings report.

Entry on   October 07 at $14.72 /gap open higher
                            /originally listed at $14.52
Change since picked:     + 0.10   			
Earnings Date          10/30/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       3.6 million 
Listed on   October 07, 2009    


Airgas Inc. - ARG - close: 50.27 change: -0.38 stop: 46.90

ARG dipped to $49.91 before bouncing this afternoon. While I'd like to see the rebound continue the pull back may not be over yet. Keep an eye on the $49.00 and $48.00 levels as potential support.

Our first target is $52.45. Our second target is $54.85. More aggressive traders could aim higher. The Point & Figure chart is bullish and predicting a $77 target.

Entry on September 25 at $47.25
Change since picked:     + 3.02  			
Earnings Date          10/29/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       1.5 million 
Listed on September 19, 2009    


BE Aerospace - BEAV - close: 20.40 change: -0.72 stop: 19.25

The 3.4% decline in BEAV on Tuesday looks ugly but it's only a dip toward the bottom of its recent trading range. More conservative traders may want to exit early anyway. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

Our first target is $22.25 and I'd exit about 75% of our position there. We'll put a second target at $24.00. Keep in mind that we'll exit ahead of the October 27th earnings report.

Entry on September 12 at $19.19 
Change since picked:     + 1.21   			
Earnings Date          10/27/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       834 thousand
Listed on September 12, 2009    


Sotheby's - BID - close: 17.92 change: -0.74 stop: 16.80

BID's close under $18.00 is short-term bearish but I would expect to see more support near $17.50 and the $17.00 level, which is bolstered by the rising 50-dma.

I would use small positions (about 1/2 to 1/4 your normal trade size) to limit risk. Our first target is $19.95 since the $20.00 mark could be round-number resistance. Our second target is $22.00. Currently the Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $30 target. We do not want to hold over the early November earnings report.

Entry on   October 13 at $18.21 
Change since picked:     - 0.29   			
Earnings Date          11/05/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       861 thousand
Listed on   October 13, 2009    


Cracker Barrel - CBRL - close: 35.96 chg: -0.56 stop: 34.40

CBRL is starting to slip after a weeklong sideways consolidation. I've been warning readers to look for a dip toward $35.00. Wait for a bounce from $35.00 before considering new bullish positions. Our first target is $39.75. The Point & Figure chart is forecasting a $57 target.

Entry on   October 10 at $36.00 
Change since picked:     - 0.04   			
Earnings Date          11/24/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       322 thousand
Listed on   October 10, 2009    


Compania Cervecerias - CCU - close: 35.88 change: -0.91 stop: 34.90

Volatility in CCU continues. Shares slipped to $35.51 before paring its losses. I would use a bounce from here as a new entry point. This is going to be a short-term trade as earnings are coming up in a week or two. Our first target is $39.90. The P&F chart is very bullish with a quadruple top bullish breakout buy signal and a $48 target.

Entry on   October 17 at $36.39 
Change since picked:     - 0.51   			
Earnings Date          10/26/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:        56 thousand
Listed on   October 17, 2009    


Check Point Software - CHKP - cls: 30.15 change: +0.07 stop: 28.90

CHKP continues to show relative strength and set a new closing high for the year. I am not suggesting new positions. Tomorrow is our last day. CHKP is expected to report earnings on Thursday morning. We need to exit on Wednesday at the closing bell (or earlier). I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

I am adjusting our target down to $32.00.

Entry on   October 06 at $29.19 
Change since picked:     + 0.96   			
Earnings Date          10/22/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       2.4 million 
Listed on   October 06, 2009    


Capstone Turbine - CPST - close: 1.47 change: +0.06 stop: 1.24

CPST has finally broken out from its recent consolidation. Today's move looks like a new bullish entry point. Our first target is $1.75. We don't want to hold over the November earnings report. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $2.75 target.

Entry on   October 10 at $ 1.40 
Change since picked:     + 0.07   			
Earnings Date          11/09/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       3.7 million 
Listed on   October 10, 2009    


Carpenter Tech. - CRS - close: 23.56 change: -0.81 stop: 22.45 *new*

CRS fell toward technical support at its rising 40-dma. Shares have bounced near this moving average twice in the last month. More conservative traders may want to exit early anyway since today's session looks like a bearish engulfing candlestick pattern. I am raising our stop loss to $22.45.

We want to exit ahead of the October 27th earnings report. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

CRS has already hit our first target. Our secondary target is $27.40.

Entry on September 05 at $21.45 /gap higher entry
                             /originally listed at $20.92
Change since picked:     + 2.11
                             /1st target hit @ 24.90 (+16.0%)
Earnings Date          10/27/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       536 thousand
Listed on September 05, 2009    


F5 Networks - FFIV - close: 42.13 change: +8032 stop: 40.75 *new*

Tomorrow is our last day for FFIV. The plan is to exit at the close on Wednesday to avoid holding over earnings after the closing bell. I am ramping up our stop loss to $40.75. Our exit target is still $44.00.

Entry on   October 07 at $40.63 
Change since picked:     + 1.50   			
Earnings Date          10/21/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       1.2 million 
Listed on   October 07, 2009    


Gold Fields Ltd - GFI - close: 14.18 change: -0.26 stop: 12.99

The dollar bounced and that sparked some profit taking in gold. The miners really under performed with the XAU off 2.1%. Shares of GFI dipped to $14.00 and bounced to close down 1.8%.

I've been warning readers to look for a dip to $14.00 and we got it. Traders can use this move as a new entry point to buy the stock.

Our first target is $15.75. Our second target is $19.75 but that may be a little optimistic given our time frame. We plan to exit ahead of the late October earnings report. The Point & Figure chart is very bullish with a $21 target.

Entry on September 30 at $13.78 
Change since picked:     + 0.40   			
Earnings Date          10/29/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       7.7 million 
Listed on September 30, 2009    


HMS Holdings - HMSY - close: 42.07 change: -0.32 stop: 38.80

HMSY is holding up pretty well but it's facing resistance at the July highs near $43.00. I'm not suggesting new positions right here. I'd rather see another dip near $41.00 or $40.00 as a new entry point. Our target is $44.90. We'll plan to exit ahead of the October 30th earnings report.

Entry on   October 17 at $41.55 /gap open higher 
                           /originally listed at $41.30
Change since picked:     + 0.52   			
Earnings Date          10/30/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       227 thousand
Listed on   October 17, 2009    


Starwood Hotels - HOT - close: 34.84 change: -1.22 stop: 32.90

HOT gave into profit taking. Shares were pretty overbought with a 20% rally in just the last three weeks. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. The plan is to exit tomorrow at the closing bell to avoid earnings. I am adjusting our second target down to $37.50.

Entry on   October 01 at $31.00
Change since picked:     + 3.84   
                             /1st target hit @ 34.75 (+12%)
Earnings Date          10/22/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       3.4 million 
Listed on September 19, 2009    


Jacobs Engineering - JEC - close: 45.43 change: -0.62 stop: 43.40

JEC dipped toward support near $45.00 and bounced. Readers can use this move as a new entry point to buy the stock. Our first target is $49.50. Our second target is $53.00 but we'll plan to exit ahead of the mid November earnings report.

Entry on   October 15 at $45.88 
Change since picked:     - 0.45   			
Earnings Date          11/17/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       1.2 million 
Listed on   October 15, 2009    


Microsoft - MSFT - close: 26.37 change: +0.01 stop: 25.49 *new*

The action in MSFT with the bounce near $26.00 looks like a new entry point. Unfortunately we only have two days left. MSFT reports earnings on Friday morning. We plan to exit on Thursday at the closing bell if shares don't hit our target at $27.75.

Please note our new stop loss at $25.49.

Entry on      July 27 at $23.00
Change since picked:     + 3.37   			
Earnings Date          10/23/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:        58 million 
Listed on  July 23, 2009    


NII Holdings - NIHD - close: 32.03 change: -0.10 stop: 30.60 *new*

NIHD recovered from its morning losses and pared its decline to just 10 cents. If the stock market is positive I would expect this stock to out perform. Unfortunately we're out of time. NIHD reports earnings Thursday morning. We plan to exit tomorrow at the closing bell. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Our target to exit is $33.75. The plan was to use small position sizes (1/2 to 1/4 normal size) to limit risk.

Please note our new stop at $30.60.

Entry on   October 08 at $30.60
Change since picked:     + 1.43   			
Earnings Date          10/22/09 confirmed    
Average Daily Volume:       3.4 million 
Listed on September 23, 2009    


Petrobras - PBR - close: 49.64 change: -1.77 stop: 45.95 *new*

Ouch! PBR under performed its peers in the oil sector. The stock plunged to $48.25 but trimmed its losses to just -3.4%. The big move was fueled by news that the Brazilian government was imposing a 2% financial transactions tax on incoming investment funds as the country tries to deal with its rising currency in the global markets.

I am raising our stop loss to $45.95. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

Our first target is $52.50. Our second target is $59.00. The P&F chart is bullish with a $63 target.

Entry on   October 08 at $46.80
Change since picked:     + 2.84  			
Earnings Date          11/13/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:      12.8 million 
Listed on   October 07, 2009    


Patriot Coal - PCX - close: 12.88 change: -0.67 stop: 10.90

PCX is beginning to retreat after another failed rally near $14.00. We've been expecting a pull back to it's not a surprise. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Look for a dip toward $11.00.

PCX has already hit our first target at $13.90. We're currently aiming for $16.75 but we'll exit ahead of the October 27th earnings report.

Entry on   October 05 at $12.14 /gap open higher
                            /originally listed at $11.78
Change since picked:     + 0.74   	
                          /1st target hit @ 13.90 (+14.5%)
Earnings Date          10/27/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       6.4 million 
Listed on   October 05, 2009    


Pride Intl. Inc. - PDE - close: 33.11 change: +0.47 stop: 29.95 *new*

The relative strength in PDE continues. Shares hit new highs for the year above $33.00. I am raising our stop loss to $29.95.

Our first target is $34.75. We'll plan to exit ahead of the late October earnings report.

Entry on   October 08 at $31.15
Change since picked:     + 1.96   			
Earnings Date          10/29/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       3.7 million 
Listed on September 12, 2009    


Playboy Ent. - PLA - close: 3.65 change: +0.00 stop: 3.18 *new*

PLA closed unchanged on the session. The stock has found a new trading range in the $3.45-3.75 zone. I am raising our stop loss to $3.18. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Our second and final target is $3.95. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a long-term $7.50 target.

Entry on September 01 at $ 2.65
Change since picked:     + 1.00 
                            /take profits 09/16/09 (+17.7%)
Earnings Date          11/05/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       370 thousand
Listed on  August 29, 2009    


Tractor Supply Co. - TSCO - close: 52.67 change: -0.18 stop: 51.49 *new*

This is the second day in a row that TSCO has bounced near $51.65. We are planning to exit tomorrow (Wednesday) at the close to avoid earnings. Given our remaining time I am raising the stop loss to $51.49. Our exit target is $54.40.

Entry on   October 06 at $50.56 
Change since picked:     + 2.11   			
Earnings Date          10/21/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       384 thousand
Listed on   October 06, 2009    


VisionChina Media - VISN - close: 10.18 change: +0.10 stop: 7.85

VISN tagged another new 2009 high at $10.50. Shares eventually pared its gains and closed with a 0.99% gain. Shares are very overbought here. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. This is a very aggressive trade and we want to keep our positions small.

Our first target is $10.90. Our second target is $13.75. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $15.00 target. My time frame is several weeks (maybe year end).

Entry on   October 07 at $ 8.53 
Change since picked:     + 1.65   			
Earnings Date          10/29/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       407 thousand
Listed on   October 07, 2009    


BEARISH Play Updates

Avis Budget Group - CAR - close: 11.16 change: -0.46 stop: 12.60

Our new play in CAR is now open. Shares hit our trigger to open bearish positions at $11.25. Our target is $9.25. We'll have to keep an eye on the rising 100-dma as potential support. FYI: The P&F chart is forecasting an $8.50 target.

NOTE: CAR has a high amount of short interest, about 9% of the 101 million-share float. That raises the risk of a short squeeze. Readers may want to consider using put options to limit risk. A stop loss doesn't always work.

chart:

Entry on   October 20 at $11.25
Change since picked:     + 0.09   			
Earnings Date          11/02/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       3.8 million 
Listed on   October 17, 2009    


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

DELL Inc. - DELL - close: 15.35 change: -0.01 stop: 14.75

The big spike down to $14.47 in DELL Looks like a bad tick. Yet it appears to be a real trade of 1900 shares at 10:45:26 a.m. this morning. That means we would have been stopped out at $14.75 even though DELL traded at $15.47, $14.47, and the very next trade was back to the $15.47 zone. It's possible that it is an dealer error and someone accidentally typed in $14.47 instead of $15.47. We're going to close this play anyway.

chart:

Entry on   October 06 at $15.51 
Change since picked:     - 0.76 <-- stopped out (-4.9%)
Earnings Date          11/19/09 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:      25.6 million 
Listed on   October 06, 2009    


Market Vectors: Steel - SLX - close: 57.39 change: -0.93 stop: 53.75

SLX has produced a failed rally and bearish reversal under $60.00 and closed with a 1.5% decline. Fortunately the stock was kind enough to gap open higher first at $59.62 before reversing. Our second and final target to exit was $59.50. The play is closed.

chart:

Entry on   October 01 at $50.25 *triggered
Change since picked:     + 9.37 <-- 2nd target gap higher @ 59.62 (+18.6%)
                            /1st target hit @ 54.75 (+8.9%)
Earnings Date          00/00/00 
Average Daily Volume:       309 thousand
Listed on September 19, 2009    


Stryker Corp. - SYK - close: 45.28 change: -0.87 stop: 44.85

We were planning to exit SYK today at the closing bell but shares hit our stop at $44.85 instead. Earnings are due out after the bell tonight.

chart:

Entry on   October 06 at $44.54 *new entry 
Change since picked:     + 0.31 <-- stopped @ 44.85 (+0.06%)
Earnings Date          10/20/09 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       3.2 million 
Listed on   October 03, 2009