Editor's Note:

FYI: I seriously considered adding EOG as a bullish candidate tonight but I don't want to have too many energy plays at the moment, especially with oil's short-term direction in doubt. Check out EOG. The recent bounce near $78 was a rebound from the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of its September rally.

I also considered ESI as a potential bullish candidate. Bigger picture the trend seems to be up after a multi-month consolidation. Short-term the stock seems kind of volatile. The big spike on the 21st of September was due to news that the Obama administration was increasing the number of federal grants for education, which should increase enrollment for schools.


NEW DIRECTIONAL CALL PLAYS

Helmerich & Payne - HP - close: 39.64 chg: +0.88 stop: 36.65

Why We Like It:
I am wary about the recent breakdown in oil prices but it hasn't had a big impact on the oil stocks. HP still has a bullish posture and appears to be breaking out from a bull-flag pattern. I'm tempted to buy calls right here but the $40 level could still be round-number resistance. I'm suggesting readers wait for a little dip and buy calls at $38.50 instead. We'll use a stop loss under last Friday's low at $36.65.

If we are triggered at $38.50 our first target is $43.50. FYI: The P&F chart is bullish with a $52 target.

Suggested Options:
I am suggesting the November calls. My preference is the November $40s.

BUY CALL NOV 40.00 HP-KH open interest= 602 current ask $2.60

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 38.50
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            11/19/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.2 million  
Listed on September 29, 2009