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Call Updates

Chubb Corp - CB - close: 87.14 change: +0.38 stop: 84.99 *new*

CB's lack of participation in today's market rally has us thinking it may be time to exit this play. We're going to give it a couple of more days to perform or we're exiting. We are raising the stop loss to $84.99.

Picked on June 10 at $ 85.05
Change since picked: + 2.09
Earnings Date 07/26/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.2 million


Coventry Hlth Care - CVH - cls: 71.55 chg: -0.56 stop: 69.49

The healthcare sector index (HMO.X) was one of the few sectors that closed in the red today. This relative weakness could be bad news for bulls here. We noticed that Aetna (AET) a popular stock in the sector broke down under round-number support today and fellow health insurer Cigna (CI)'s stock looks poised for more profit taking too. That leaves us feeling pretty cautious here with CVH, which is still bouncing above round-number support at the $70.00 level. There is only a couple of weeks left before CVH reports earnings so we hesitate to suggest new bullish plays.

Picked on July 05 at $ 72.75
Change since picked: - 1.20
Earnings Date 08/02/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.0 million


Quanex - NX - close: 58.38 change: +2.44 stop: 54.99 *new*

We have good news to report today. NX really soared with today's market rally. The stock added 4.3 percent with a sharp rebound off the $56 level to break through minor resistance at the $58.00 level and close at new 3 1/2 month highs. The stock is nearing our target in the $59.50-60.00 range. We are raising the stop loss to $54.99.

Picked on July 07 at $ 55.10
Change since picked: + 3.28
Earnings Date 08/25/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 337 thousand


Pediatrix Med Group - PDX - cls: 76.92 chg: +0.86 stop: 72.34

It was a mixed news day for PDX. The company pre-announced better than expected Q2 earnings today. Wall Street's consensus was at $1.11 for the quarter and PDX expects results at $1.14. We're surprised that PDX didn't respond more positively to this news. Also in the news PDX reported that it will be expensing $4.6 million in the third quarter and $5.5 million in the fourth quarter for 335,000 shares of stock it is awarding to some of its employees in part of its incentive compensation plan. We're going to keep the play open and will continue to target the $80.00-82.00 range.

Picked on July 11 at $ 76.10
Change since picked: + 0.82
Earnings Date 08/03/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 158 thousand


Reynolds American - RAI - close: 82.10 chg: +0.20 stop: 77.75*new*

We see no change from our previous update. In the news UBS started coverage on RAI with a "buy" rating and a $100 price target. Our short-term price target is the $84.00-85.00 range. We are raising the stop loss to $77.75.

Picked on July 10 at $ 78.83
Change since picked: + 3.27
Earnings Date 08/01/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 664 thousand


Toll Brothers - TOL - close: 56.90 chg: +0.60 stop: 51.98

The homebuilding sector hit yet another new all-time high today. TOL did as well with an intraday high of $57.31. That's getting pretty close to our target in the $57.50-60.00 range. We strongly suggest that more conservative traders consider taking some profits off the table here. We're not suggesting new plays at this time.

Picked on July 10 at $ 51.98
Change since picked: + 4.91
Earnings Date 08/22/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.4 million

Put Updates

Ishares Global Energy - IXC - cls: 89.39 chg: +1.04 stop: 91.61

Heads up! The oil sectors surged today with the OIX index adding 1.2 percent and the OSX services index adding 3.7 percent. This helped pull the IXC to a 1.1 percent gain. We want to remind readers that this is an aggressive play and we may exit early if the IXC can breakout again over the $90.00 level. There is additional resistance near $91.50 but it wouldn't take much to see the oil group hit another new high. Our plan was to try and scalp some profit taking in the sector before the next leg higher.

Picked on July 14 at $ 89.15
Change since picked: + 0.24
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 33 thousand


Martin Marietta - MLM - cls: 69.00 chg: +0.42 stop: 70.51

So far we remain on the sidelines. We're suggesting that traders wait for a drop under the $68.00 level before buying puts on MLM. Our trigger is at $67.85. Our target is the $63-62 range.

Picked on July xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 08/03/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 313 thousand


Children's Place - PLCE - cls: 47.19 chg: +0.38 stop: 47.51

No change. We are still waiting for PLCE to breakdown under technical support at its 100-dma and price support at the $45.00 mark. Our trigger to buy puts is at $44.90. Our target is the $40.50-40.00 range.

Picked on July xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 08/11/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 775 thousand


Wellchoice - WC - close: 69.49 chg: -0.64 stop: 72.51

It was an interesting session for WC today. The stock gapped higher and then quickly failed. This weakness on a day that the broader market was trading higher is good news for the bears. The two-day candlestick pattern looks like "dark cloud cover", which might suggest a bearish reversal here. It takes guts to open bearish positions with the market hitting new highs but this could be a new entry point to buy puts.

Picked on July 14 at $ 69.46
Change since picked: + 0.03
Earnings Date 08/03/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 268 thousand

Dropped Calls

Fortune Brands - FO - close: 94.58 chg: -0.05 stop: 90.51

Target achieved. Another strong day for retail stocks was a boon for FO. The RLX retail index actually hit a new all-time high today. Shares of FO followed suit and hit its own new all-time high at $95.87. Our target was the $95.00-96.00 range so we're closing the play. Don't forget that FO is due to report earnings on Friday.

Picked on July 03 at $ 90.51
Change since picked: + 4.07
Earnings Date 07/22/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 648 thousand


Rio Tinto - RTP - close: 125.01 chg: +0.63 stop: 123.33

Nimble traders may want to give RTP another look here. We were stopped out this morning on the gap lower but RTP did bounce from its simple 50-dma. The entire session painted a small bullish engulfing candlestick, which may prove to be a new bullish entry point. While we are stopped out at $123.04 (this morning's opening trade) we hope some of our readers did exit for a profit (we suggested multiple times) when shares traded near $128 last week.

Picked on June 27 at $123.33
Change since picked: + 1.68
Earnings Date 08/03/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 160 thousand

Dropped Puts


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