The S&P 500 index was up six days in a row. We were due for some profit taking.


BULLISH Play Updates

Bank of Hawaii - BOH - close: 48.64 change: -0.11 stop: 46.49

Banks were caught in the market's widespread decline on Tuesday. Shares of BOH held up pretty well and just drifted sideways. More conservative traders might want to consider raising their stops. Broken resistance near $48.00 is acting as short-term support. I am not suggesting new positions. Our target to exit is $49.85. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher but I would avoid holding over earnings.

Entry on  November 18 at $46.20     
Change since picked: + 2.44
Earnings Date 01/25/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 424 thousand
Listed on November 17, 2009


Cisco Systems Inc. - CSCO - close: 24.20 change: -0.39 stop: 23.95

CSCO is dipping toward short-term support near $24.00. This area should be bolstered by the rising 50-dma. More aggressive traders may want to consider buying a bounce from here with a tight stop. I'm suggesting readers wait for a breakout and use a trigger to buy CSCO at $25.05. If triggered our first target is $27.40, which is a little optimistic but we will plan to exit ahead of the early February earnings report. The plan is to keep our positions small to reduce risk.

Entry on   January xx at $xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 25.05     
Change since picked: + 0.00 (small positions)
Earnings Date 02/03/10 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 34 million
Listed on January 09, 2009


Diana Shipping Inc. - DSX - close: 16.04 change: -0.23 stop: 14.95

I am surprised that DSX didn't see stronger profit taking. The stock is up a good chunk in the last two weeks. Shares gapped down this morning but spent most of the day consolidating sideways. At this time I'd still prefer to launch new positions on a dip or a bounce near $15.50. This sector and this stock can be volatile. I do consider this an aggressive, higher-risk trade. We want to keep positions small. Our first target is $17.90.

Entry on   January 09 at $16.44 /gap higher entry   
Change since picked: - 0.40 (small positions)
Earnings Date 02/18/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.5 million
Listed on January 09, 2009


Home Depot - HD - close: 27.98 change: -0.18 stop: 27.80

Uh-oh! HD has broken support near $28.00. I think the only thing that saved us was technical support at the 50-dma. The low today was $27.89. If there is any follow through lower tomorrow odds are we will be stopped out. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

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: - 0.84
Earnings Date 02/23/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 15.7 million
Listed on December 12, 2009


Hologic Inc. - HOLX - close: 14.92 change: -0.02 stop: 14.40

HOLX continues to churn sideways. The range has narrowed to the $14.75-15.05 zone. There is no change from my prior comments. We're waiting for a breakout higher. 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: 32.17 change: -0.28 stop: 31.49

Short-term technical indicators in PCH are starting to take on a more bearish tone. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. 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: + 1.87
Earnings Date 02/11/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 503 thousand
Listed on November 11, 2009


Renolds American - RAI - close: 53.15 change: -0.24 stop: 52.45

RAI pretty much erased yesterday's bounce. The stock has been trading sideways since mid December. A real breakout past $54.00 could re-ignite the rally. I am suggesting that we sell half our position now (if you haven't done so already). I'm not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. Our target to exit is $55.90.

Entry on  November 14 at $50.32      
Change since picked: + 2.83
/sell half @ 53.15 (+5.6%)
Earnings Date 02/11/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.6 million
Listed on November 14, 2009


Starbucks Corp. - SBUX - close: 22.82 change: -0.39 stop: 21.95

We need to stay defensive on SBUX. The stock has broken down from its $23-24 trading range. I am expecting a dip toward the $22.00 level, which should be support. 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: + 0.57
Earnings Date 01/28/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.9 million
Listed on November 30, 2009


Sigma Designs - SIGM - close: 11.80 change: -0.12 stop: 10.95

SIGM almost hit our trigger midday. The low was $11.60. Given today's market weakness I'm going to adjust our entry point on SIGM. Our new trigger to buy the dip is $11.35. We'll move the stop loss down to $10.95. I would still keep positions small as I remain cautious on the market. Our first target to take profits is at $12.95.

Entry on   January xx at $xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 11.35  
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 03/04/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 392 thousand
Listed on January 09, 2009


Sonoco Products - SON - close: 30.25 change: -0.24 stop: 29.20

Tuesday ended up a quiet session for SON with the stock trading in a narrow range. Given the market's weakness on Tuesday I would hesitate to launch new positions in SON right here. Our plan was to use small positions. Our first target is $34.50.

Entry on  December 26 at $30.31      
Change since picked: - 0.06 (small positions)
Earnings Date 02/04/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 343 thousand
Listed on December 26, 2009


Steel Dynamics - STLD - close: 19.08 change: -0.48 stop: 18.45

Last night's earnings report from Alcoa sparked widespread profit taking for all the metal-related stocks. Yesterday's bearish reversal pattern coupled with today's decline is a warning sign. More conservative traders will want to consider an early exit. I'm watching the $18.50 level for support. No new positions at this time.

STLD has already hit our first target at $19.95. Our second and final target is $21.95.

Entry on   January 06 at $18.75 (small positions)     
Change since picked: + 0.33
1st target hit @ 19.95 (+6.4%)
Earnings Date 01/26/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.7 million
Listed on January 04, 2009


Seagate Technology - STX - close: 17.72 change: -0.63 stop: 17.45

STX is dipping back toward recent support near $17.50. Some of the technical indicators are starting to grow more bearish. More conservative traders will want to consider an early exit right here! I'm not suggesting new positions.

Remember, we plan to exit ahead of the January 20th earnings report. Our target to exit is $19.75. 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: - 0.11
Earnings Date 01/20/10 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 8.2 million
Listed on December 19, 2009


Vishay Intertechnology - VSH - close: 8.71 change: -0.26 stop: 8.20

VSH displayed relative weakness with a 2.8% decline. The stock broke down under a couple of levels of short-term support. Traders did buy the dip at $8.45 and the stock delivered a decent afternoon bounce from its lows. More conservative traders may want to up their stops toward today's low. I'm not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. Our target is $9.95. The plan was to keep positions small to limit our risk.

Entry on   January 08 at $ 8.85 (small positions)
Change since picked: - 0.14
Earnings Date 02/09/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.1 million
Listed on January 05, 2009


Wright Express Corp. - WXS - close: 31.91 change: -0.35 stop: 30.95

WXS is still consolidating sideways. I don't see any changes from my previous comments. Cautious traders might want to adjust their stops toward $31.50ish.

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: - 0.39
Earnings Date 02/10/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 209 thousand
Listed on December 19, 2009


Wyndham Worldwide - WYN - close: 20.44 change: -0.25 stop: 19.90

We had a close call on WYN. The stock briefly traded under support near $20.00 and hit $19.94. The strong afternoon bounce from its lows is encouraging but it looks like momentum is definitely waning for WYN. Readers may just want to call it quits and exit now. 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: + 1.56
/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: 39.26 change: +0.03 stop: 41.26

After two days of declines BBY eked our a small gain. The trend is still down. It is worth noting that shares spiked lower this morning and hit $38.71. Our trigger to open bearish positions was hit at $38.95 so the play is open. Keep an eye on the rising 200-dma, where BBY will probably see a bounce but we expect the bounce to be temporary. There is no need to rush into positions now. We'll probably get a new entry point in the next couple of days.

Our first target is $35.25.

chart:

Entry on   January 12 at $38.95 (small positions)       
Change since picked: + 0.31
Earnings Date 03/25/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 8.0 million
Listed on January 02, 2009