The steel industry continues to show relative strength. Overall the market churned sideways.


BULLISH Play Updates

Bank of Hawaii - BOH - close: 47.14 change: +0.19 stop: 46.25

Banks are still bouncing and BOH gained 0.4% but the rally stalled near $47.50. I remain cautious here. There is no change from my prior comments. Our target to exit is $49.85.

Entry on  November 18 at $46.20  
Change since picked: + 0.94
Earnings Date 01/25/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 424 thousand
Listed on November 17, 2009


EMCOR Group - EME - close: 27.43 change: +0.11 stop: 25.75

EME produced a minor gain but still looks poised for some profit taking. I'd look for a correction toward $26.50-26.00. No new positions at this time. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $42 target. I'm listing our first target at $29.85. Our time frame is several weeks.

Entry on  December 21 at $27.18 
Change since picked: + 0.25
Earnings Date 02/25/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 514 thousand
Listed on December 21, 2009


Home Depot - HD - close: 28.78 change: -0.10 stop: 27.75

There isn't a lot of movement in HD today. Some of the short-term technicals are screaming "get out" and more conservative traders may want to do just that. I still see support near $28.00 and I'm willing to wait. You could always reduce your position and if the market rallies on the jobs report then decide to add to positions.

Our first target is $30.60. Our second target is $32.45. We'll plan to exit ahead of the February earnings report. FYI: The P&F chart is very bullish with a $44 target.

Entry on  December 14 at $28.82 *gap higher entry  
Change since picked: - 0.04
Earnings Date 02/23/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 15.7 million
Listed on December 12, 2009


Hologic Inc. - HOLX - close: 15.01 change: +0.07 stop: 14.40

HOLX is still churning sideways in a tight range but the consolidation has a bullish pattern of higher lows. This is suggesting the breakout will be higher but so far the exponential 200-dma is acting as overhead resistance. The high today was $15.04.

I am suggesting a trigger to buy HOLX at $15.15. If triggered our first target is $16.45 although we'll have to keep a cautious eye on the 100-dma, which could be resistance. I would keep positions small. There is still a chance for the market to correct in January.

Entry on   January xx at $xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 15.15  (small positions)
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 02/01/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.7 million
Listed on January 04, 2009


Potlatch Corp. - PCH - close: 32.68 change: +0.41 stop: 30.45

PCH displayed some relative strength with a 1.2% gain. I am raising our stop loss to $30.90. I'm not suggesting new positions. Our first target to take profits is at $33.60. Our second target is $35.75.

Entry on  November 16 at $30.30
Change since picked: + 2.38
Earnings Date 02/11/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 503 thousand
Listed on November 11, 2009


Renolds American - RAI - close: 53.99 change: +0.69 stop: 51.75

RAI is finally starting to see some action. Shares gained 1.2% and now they're challenging resistance near $54.00. I am going to adjust our exit target from $54.90 to $55.90. The summer 2008 high was near $57.75, which is where RAI should find resistance. More aggressive traders could aim for $57.75 or even the $60 region. If RAI breaks to a new high I'd raise the stop loss closer to $53.00.

Entry on  November 14 at $50.32 
Change since picked: + 3.67
Earnings Date 02/11/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.6 million
Listed on November 14, 2009


Starbucks Corp. - SBUX - close: 23.42 change: -0.17 stop: 21.95 *new*

There was no follow through on yesterday's bounce in SBUX. I would expect the stock to churn sideways until the jobs report on Friday. At this time I'm inching the stop loss up to $21.95. More conservative traders may want to place their stop at $22.25 or even closer to $22.50. I'm not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. Our target to exit is $24.90.

Entry on  December 10 at $22.25
Change since picked: + 1.17
Earnings Date 01/28/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.9 million
Listed on November 30, 2009


Sonoco Products - SON - close: 31.08 change: +0.59 stop: 29.20

SON continues to show relative strength and the stock hit new 52-week highs. There is no change from my prior comments. Our first target is $34.50.

Entry on  December 26 at $30.31 
Change since picked: + 0.77
Earnings Date 02/04/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 343 thousand
Listed on December 26, 2009


Steel Dynamics - STLD - close: 19.50 change: +1.32 stop: 17.49

Steel stocks were some of the best performers today and STLD out performed many of its peers with a 7.2% rally. The stock broke through resistance at $18.50 and hit our trigger to buy STLD at $18.75. Volume was almost 9 million shares versus the average at 5.7 million. The strong volume is bullish. Our first target is $19.95. I am raising our second target to $21.95.

FYI: If you missed the entry point don't worry. Odds are pretty good that STLD will see some profit taking after today's big gain. $18.50 should become new support. Just wait for a dip.

chart:

Entry on   January 06 at $18.75 (small positions)
Change since picked: + 0.75
Earnings Date 01/26/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.7 million
Listed on January 04, 2009


Seagate Technology - STX - close: 18.39 change: -0.13 stop: 17.45

STX spent the day consolidating sideways in a narrow range. There is no change from my previous comments. Our target is $19.75 as the $20.00 level will probably act as round-number, psychological resistance. We will plan to exit ahead of the mid January earnings report. The plan was to keep positions small to limit our risk.

Entry on  December 19 at $17.83 /gap open higher (small positions)
Change since picked: + 0.56
Earnings Date 01/19/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 8.2 million
Listed on December 19, 2009


Vishay Intertechnology - VSH - close: 8.76 change: +0.02 stop: 8.20

Shares of VSH are still coiling for a breakout higher. There is no change from my Tuesday night comments. I'm suggesting readers open small bullish positions with a trigger to buy the stock at $8.85. If triggered we'll use a stop under the current trading range. I say "small" positions because I'm still concerned that the market could see a correction in January and we want to keep our exposure down. If triggered our first target to take profits is at $9.95.

Entry on   January xx at $xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 8.85 (small positions)
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 02/09/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.1 million
Listed on January 05, 2009


Warner Chilcott - WCRX - close: 28.41 change: -0.09 stop: 27.95

It proved to be a very quiet day for WCRX with the stock trading in a 50-cent range. There is no change from my prior comments. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Our first target has been hit at $27.40. The newsletter is planning to exit at $29.45.

Entry on  December 01 at $24.77 gap open entry point (small positions)
Change since picked: + 3.64
/1st target hit @ 27.40 (+10.6%)
Earnings Date 02/25/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.8 million
Listed on November 28, 2009


Wright Express Corp. - WXS - close: 32.83 change: -0.05 stop: 30.95

Traders are still buying the dips in WXS and this time they bought it near $32.00. This looks like a new bullish entry point but I'll be honest. I'm cautious ahead of the jobs report on Friday.

Our target is $35.90. I'm setting a longer-term target at $39.50 but we want to sell the majority of our position at $35.90. We will plan to exit ahead of the February earnings report.

Entry on  December 21 at $32.30
Change since picked: + 0.53
Earnings Date 02/10/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 209 thousand
Listed on December 19, 2009


Wyndham Worldwide - WYN - close: 21.10 change: +0.39 stop: 19.90

WYN continues to show relative strength and added another 1.88% on Wednesday. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Our first target has already been hit at $21.00. We're currently aiming for $22.40. The plan was to use small positions (1/2 a position).

Entry on  November 10 at $18.88 (1/2 position) /gap open higher
Change since picked: + 2.22
/1st target hit @ 21.00 (+11.2%)
Earnings Date 02/11/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.5 million
Listed on November 10, 2009


BEARISH Play Updates

Best Buy - BBY - close: 40.89 change: -0.32 stop: 41.26

Hmm.... right on cue BBY produced a failed rally at its old trendline of support (now resistance). Nimble traders may want to consider bearish positions now. I'm suggesting the rest of us stick to the plan and wait for a breakdown.

Use a trigger at $38.95 to open small bearish positions. I suggest small positions because the 200-dma just above $38 could offer some technical support. An alternative entry point would be a new failed rally near $41-42. We will consider adding to positions on a breakdown under $38.00.

Our first target is $35.25.

Entry on   January xx at $xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 38.95
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 03/25/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 8.0 million
Listed on January 02, 2009


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Texas Instruments - TXN - close: 25.67 change: -0.19 stop: 25.45

I have been cautious on TXN for days. Yesterday I said that if TXN didn't close over $26.00 we'd drop it. Shares lost 0.7% with a dip toward its rising 40-dma. Long-term the trend is still up but short-term I'm seeing too much relative weakness.

chart:

Entry on  December 02 at $26.15
Change since picked: - 0.48 <-- early exit @ 25.67 (-1.8%)
Earnings Date 01/26/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 12.6 million
Listed on December 01, 2009


iPath VIX ETN - VXX - close: 31.20 change: -0.89 stop: 31.99

The market traded sideways on Wednesday but the tone of trading was bullish - at least if you followed the option market. The volatility index sank to new 52-week lows and the VXX hit our stop loss at $31.99 closing the play early Wednesday morning.

I'll repeat my earlier comments that aggressive traders might want to hold small bullish positions as speculation that the market sells off on the jobs report.

chart:

Entry on   January 02 at $33.22 (small positions)/gap down entry
Change since picked: - 1.23 <-- stopped out @ 31.99 (-3.7%)
Earnings Date --/--/--
Average Daily Volume: 1.6 million
Listed on January 02, 2009


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

Jacobs Engineering - JEC - close: 40.25 change: +1.29 stop: 39.26

The bears are losing the fight. JEC spiked higher this morning and it looks like shorts ran for cover when JEC cleared resistance at $39.00 and near its 50-dma. Shares eventually closed with a 3.3% gain. Our play was closed at $39.26.

chart:

Entry on   January 02 at $38.10 /gap higher entry
Change since picked: + 1.16 <-- stopped @ 39.26 (+3.0%)
Earnings Date 01/26/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.2 million
Listed on January 02, 2009