It took longer than expected but BOH finally hit our target. We also had one tech-sector candidate hit our trigger.


BULLISH Play Updates

Cisco Systems Inc. - CSCO - close: 24.95 change: +0.31 stop: 23.95

Our bullish play on CSCO has been triggered. The stock broke out from its recent trading range and hit $25.08 intraday. Our trigger to buy the stock was at $25.05. Now that the play is open our first target to take profits is at $27.40. The goal is a little optimistic since we plan to exit ahead of the early February earnings report. We want to keep our positions small to reduce risk.

chart:

Entry on   January 14 at $25.05 
Change since picked:     - 0.10 (small positions)   
Earnings Date          02/03/10 (confirmed)         
Average Daily Volume:        34 million      
Listed on   January 09, 2009    


CSX Corp. - CSX - close: 50.55 change: -0.47 stop: 48.90

The correction in railroad stocks continues and shares of CSX are testing prior resistance and what should be support near $50.00. I am suggesting readers use this dip near $50.00 as a new bullish entry point. More conservative traders could wait for a new move over $51.00 before initiating positions.

This is going to be a very short-term play. Earnings are coming up on January 19th. While I am tempted to hold over the report we will exit ahead of the announcement. There are just too many unknown variables that can turn an earnings report into a painful lesson in risk management. Our first target is $53.95.

Entry on   January 12 at $50.71 
Change since picked:     - 0.16   			
Earnings Date          01/19/10 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       2.6 million 
Listed on   January 12, 2009    


Diana Shipping Inc. - DSX - close: 16.05 change: -0.13 stop: 14.95

There is no change from my previous comments on DSX. The stock is still churning sideways near $16.00. I would wait for a new bounce near $15.50 before launching positions. 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:     - 0.39 (small positions)
Earnings Date          02/18/10 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       1.5 million       
Listed on   January 09, 2009    


Fifth Third Bancorp - FITB - close: 11.77 change: +0.25 stop: 10.49

Banking stocks were a little bit weaker this morning as investors reacted to Obama's plan to tax the big financial firms. Shares of FITB gapped open lower at $11.43. Yet the banking sector shook it off and managed to rally higher. FITB gained 2.1% on very strong volume. It was a bullish signal. Tomorrow's report from JPM will have a big influence on the banks.

Our plan was to use small positions on FITB. This is going to be a short-term trade. We'll plan to exit ahead of the January 21st earnings report just to be safe. Our first target is $13.00.

Entry on   January 13 at $11.43 (small positions)/gap down entry
Change since picked:     + 0.34   			
Earnings Date          01/21/10 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:      12.7 million 
Listed on   January 09, 2009    


Home Depot - HD - close: 28.30 change: +0.17 stop: 27.80

Nothing has changed for us with HD. I remain very cautious here. I'm tempted to exit early if HD can come close to our entry point at $28.82. Today's news about retail sales being worse in December is not a good sign for the economy or stores like HD. 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:     - 0.52   			 
Earnings Date          02/23/10 (unconfirmed)     
Average Daily Volume:      15.7 million      
Listed on  December 12, 2009    


Hologic Inc. - HOLX - close: 15.31 change: +0.14 stop: 14.40

If you missed yesterday's entry point you got another chance today with HOLX dipped to $15.03 before bouncing. I remain bullish here and would still consider new positions. Our first target is $16.45. Watch the 100-dma as potential resistance. I would keep positions small.

Entry on   January 13 at $15.15   (small positions)
Change since picked:     + 0.16   			  
Earnings Date          02/01/10 (unconfirmed)      
Average Daily Volume:       2.7 million      
Listed on   January 04, 2009    


Potlatch Corp. - PCH - close: 32.27 change: -0.49 stop: 31.49

Unfortunately PCH remains trapped in the $31.75-33.00 trading range. 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:     + 1.97 
Earnings Date          02/11/10 (unconfirmed) 
Average Daily Volume:       503 thousand     
Listed on  November 11, 2009    


Renolds American - RAI - close: 54.02 change: +0.51 stop: 52.45

Shares of RAI rallied to the top of its recent range and resistance near $54.00. Volume was below average so I don't put a lot of confidence behind this move. However, if shares can truly breakout past $54.00 it could herald a new leg higher. We're planning to exit at $55.90 but more aggressive traders could aim higher.

Entry on  November 14 at $50.32  
Change since picked:     + 3.70  
                       /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: 23.55 change: +0.17 stop: 21.95

SBUX continues to bounce but remains under resistance at the $24.00 level. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. We want to exit ahead of the January 20th earnings report. Our target to exit is $24.90.

Entry on  December 10 at $22.25   
Change since picked:     + 1.29   
Earnings Date          01/20/10 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume:      10.9 million    
Listed on  November 30, 2009    


Sigma Designs - SIGM - close: 12.23 change: +0.43 stop: 10.95

Shares of SIGM plunged 5.4% following an analyst downgrade this morning. The selling stalled at the rising 10-dma. Volume was pretty strong on the move, which is bearish. More conservative traders may want to decide against trading SIGM given today's weakness. I still see potential support in the $11.30-11.00 zone. We'll move our trigger to buy the stock down to $11.30. Keep positions small to reduce our risk. Our first target to take profits is at $12.95.

Entry on   January xx at $xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 11.30 
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: 30.08 change: -0.17 stop: 29.20

The longer-term trend for SON is up but short-term it's going nowhere and starting to develop a bearish pattern of lower highs. I am not suggesting new bullish positions at this time and I'm tempted to give up and exit early right here. More conservative traders may want to raise their stops toward the rising 30-dma. Our plan was to use small positions. Our first target is $34.50.

Entry on  December 26 at $30.31    
Change since picked:     - 0.23 (small positions) 
Earnings Date          02/04/10 (unconfirmed)     
Average Daily Volume:       343 thousand    
Listed on  December 26, 2009    


Seagate Technology - STX - close: 18.34 change: +0.15 stop: 17.45

Technology stocks were showing some strength today. Odds are good that Intel's better than expected earnings report tonight will give tech stocks a boost tomorrow. Yet I hesitate to launch new STX positions with just a few days left before earnings.

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:     + 0.51  			     
Earnings Date          01/20/10 (confirmed)        
Average Daily Volume:       8.2 million     
Listed on  December 19, 2009    


Vishay Intertechnology - VSH - close: 9.09 change: +0.14 stop: 8.20

The bounce in VSH continues and shares actually hit a new 52-week high at $9.14 today. I would still consider new bullish positions here. More conservative traders may want to up their stops toward $8.50ish. 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:     + 0.24   			
Earnings Date          02/09/10 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       1.1 million 
Listed on   January 05, 2009    


Wright Express Corp. - WXS - close: 33.00 change: -0.13 stop: 30.95

It turned out to be a very quiet day for WXS. The stock drifted sideways in a very narrow range following yesterday's gain. I would still consider new bullish positions here. Traders might want to bump their stops toward $31.50.

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:     + 0.70   
Earnings Date          02/10/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume:       209 thousand   
Listed on  December 19, 2009    


BEARISH Play Updates

Best Buy - BBY - close: 39.35 change: -0.38 stop: 41.26

The Commerce Department said retail sales in December actually lost ground with a change of -0.3%. Economists were expecting a rise of +0.5%. Consumer spending accounts for nearly 70% of the U.S. economy so it was a bearish reading. Retail stocks were in the red today although not by much. Shares of BBY gave up 0.9% under performing many of its peers. The new short-term trend is down but given the market's bullish tone I hesitate to launch new positions. Wait for BBY to breakdown under the 200-dma. Our first target is $35.25.

Entry on   January 12 at $38.95 (small positions)
Change since picked:     + 0.40   			
Earnings Date          03/25/10 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       8.0 million      
Listed on   January 02, 2009    


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Bank of Hawaii - BOH - close: 49.40 change: +0.00 stop: 47.80

Target achieved. Shares of BOH spiked to $49.91 this morning after initially gapping open lower. Our target to exit was $49.85 so the play is closed.

chart:

Entry on  November 18 at $46.20     
Change since picked:     + 3.65 <-- target hit @ 49.85 (+7.9%)
Earnings Date          01/25/10 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume:       424 thousand   
Listed on  November 17, 2009