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Call Updates

Apache - APA - close: 69.50 change: -1.72 stop: 67.99

Oil stocks have turned soft in the last two days. The recent action is making crude oil's early December breakout over resistance, the $60 level, and its 50-dma look like a bull trap. Crude oil fell more than 3% on Friday on new forecasts for a warmer winter than previously expected. We all know how unreliable the weather can be so this may just be more year-end profit taking. Currently the OIX oil index and the OSX oil services index are both pulling back toward their supporting trendlines of higher lows. Until these oil indices breakdown below this support the trends for the sector are still up. We are not suggesting new bullish positions in APA. Friday's drop in APA (2.4%) pulled it under the $70.00 mark and its 10-dma. More conservative traders may want to bail out early right here to protect their capital. We're watching the 100-dma near $69 and the $68 level for short-term support.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new call plays in APA at this time.

Picked on December 08 at $ 70.98
Change since picked: - 1.48
Earnings Date 01/26/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.6 million

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Dominion Res. - D - close: 80.87 chg: -0.22 stop: 74.75

The utility sector was one of the few groups that closed in the green on Friday. We believe that D probably would have joined its peers but news out on Friday may have prompted some selling. Dominion issued a press release stating that according to its succession plan they are promoting Thomas Farrell, president and chief operating office, to chief executive officer after the current CEO retires from his post this January. We would not suggest new bullish positions in D right here. Watch for a dip and a bounce from the $80.00 level before considering new bullish positions. If the market averages turn lower then we'd look for D to test its 10-dma (near $79). Our target for D is the $84.50-85.00 range compared to the P&F chart, which points to a $92 target.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new call plays in D at this time.

Picked on November 27 at $ 78.24
Change since picked: + 2.63
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.8 million

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FMC Corp. - FMC - close: 52.67 chg: -0.56 stop: 51.95

We have been writing about a potential pull back in FMC toward the $52.00 level for days now. It looks like that is where shares of FMC are headed. The $52 level is near the top of its gap higher in November and should be short-term support. This area is also bolstered by technical support with its simple 50-dma. Unfortunately, the recent weakness has turned the technical picture bearish and produced a new MACD sell signal. We are actually a little surprised by FMC's weakness. Fundamentally the pull back in oil prices the last two days is good news for FMC, since the company is a chemical producer. We do notice that volume during the last two sessions has been very low so it may just be an absence of buyers and not a flood of sellers. We would not suggest new positions at this time.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new call plays in FMC at this time.

Picked on December 01 at $ 55.04
Change since picked: - 2.37
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 270 thousand

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Femsa Fomento - FMX - close: 69.68 chg: +0.23 stop: 67.75

The Mexican stock market hit new highs on Thursday but Friday gave back one percent in profit taking. Meanwhile shares of FMX continue to creep higher toward resistance at the $70.00-70.50 level. The bigger picture for FMX remains bullish so we're going to keep FMX as a candidate. Our strategy involves using a trigger at $70.65 to buy calls. If we are triggered we'll target a run into the $74.75-75.00 range. The P&F chart points to an $81 target.

Suggested Options:
We are suggesting January calls, which have five weeks left until expiration. You may want to consider buying April strikes instead.

BUY CALL FMX 65 FMX-AM open interest= 16 current ask $5.70
BUY CALL FMX 70 FMX-AN open interest=249 current ask $2.10
BUY CALL FMX 75 FMX-AO open interest=102 current ask $0.60

Picked on December xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 02/23/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 308 thousand

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Garmin ltd - GRMN - close: 61.04 change: -1.16 stop: 57.90

The pull back in GRMN may be offering us another bullish entry point but we would hesitate before initiating new plays at the moment. This past Tuesday the stock broke out over resistance at its two-month trendline of lower highs. The last two days look like profit taking after a strong December performance. We would watch for a dip to and a bounce from the $60.00 level, which should be support. The $60 level is also supported by the 50-dma and the 100-dma. Our mid-January target is the $69.00-70.00 range. We do not want to hold over the January earnings report. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stop losses.

Suggested Options:
We like the January calls since we plan to exit ahead of the January earnings report. However, we're not suggesting new positions here. Wait for a bounce above the $60 level.

Picked on December 13 at $ 63.54
Change since picked: - 2.50
Earnings Date 01/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million

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Kerr Mcgee - KMG - close: 92.52 chg: -1.89 stop: 88.99

KMG is another oil stock that suffered on Friday from a pull back in crude and widespread profit taking in the sector. Shares of KMG lost 2% and closed under their 10-dma. This move suggests there is more weakness to come and we'd look for a dip back toward the $90.00 level, which should offer some support. We would not suggest new positions at this time. Our mid January target is the $98.50-100 range.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new call plays in KMG at this time.

Picked on December 02 at $ 90.26
Change since picked: + 2.26
Earnings Date 01/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.8 million

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Kinder Morgan - KMI - close: 93.97 chg: -0.12 stop: 91.90 *new*

Natural gas futures traded in a narrow 20-cent range for most of the session on Friday. That didn't stop shares of KMI from trying to breakout over resistance at the $95 level. The rally in KMI failed early Friday morning but the stock was rebounding higher again late Friday afternoon on a surge of volume. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. A move over $95.00 might be used as a new entry point and if that occurs you might target the $100 level. We are raising our stop loss to $91.90 since KMI hasn't traded under $92 for the past two weeks and the 100-dma can be found near $92.35. Our target is the $98.50-100 range. We do not want to hold over the mid January earnings report.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new positions in KMI at this time.

Picked on December 02 at $ 92.75
Change since picked: + 1.22
Earnings Date 01/18/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 749 thousand

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Polaris Ind. - PII - close: 49.89 change: -0.30 stop: 48.49

PII is still consolidating sideways near the $50 level after the December 8th downgrade. Shares appear stuck in a $2.50 range. We are not suggesting new positions and more conservative traders may just want to exit early right here before time erosion steals any more from the option values. There is still a chance for a Santa Claus rally in the second half of December so we're going to keep this play open. If it can breakout over $51 then there's a good chance it will fill the gap near $53.00-53.50. We're going to keep our target in the $54.00-55.00 range.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new positions in PII at this time.

Picked on November 21 at $ 48.47
Change since picked: + 1.42
Earnings Date 01/12/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 467 thousand

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Ryland Group - RYL - close: 75.14 change: +0.02 stop: 69.90

Homebuilders traded mostly sideways on Friday despite positive news from KB Home (KBH). KBH reported earnings on Thursday night and beat estimates by 17 cents a share. KBH then went on to offer a positive spin on 2006 and announced a stock buy back program. Oddly enough this good news was not enough to move the homebuilding stocks on Friday. We remain bullish on RYL but would probably wait for a dip toward $74 or its 10-dma near $73.50 before considering new bullish positions. Our target is the $79.50-80.00 range. FYI: next week does have some economic news that could move the homebuilding stocks. Monday brings the housing starts and building permits data. Friday we'll see the new home sales numbers.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new positions in RYL at this time.

Picked on December 13 at $ 73.96
Change since picked: + 1.18
Earnings Date 01/17/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.3 million

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Questar Corp - STR - close: 81.92 chg: -1.97 stop: 77.45

Bulls need to get defensive here. STR has turned in a very strong performance this December. This past Friday saw some profit taking. More importantly the three-day pattern looks like a short-term top. We do expect shares of STR to pull back toward the 10-dma near the $80.00 level, which should offer support. Only on a bounce from the $80 level would we consider new bullish positions. Our target is the October highs in the $89.00-90.00 range. The P&F chart points to a $105 target. FYI: STR is also a current strangle play on the newsletter's play list.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new positions in STR at this time.

Picked on December 13 at $ 80.85
Change since picked: + 1.07
Earnings Date 01/26/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 752 thousand

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Total S.A. - TOT - close: 129.03 change: -0.16 stop: 126.49

French oil giant TOT is also looking vulnerable to more profit taking. More conservative traders may want to think about exiting early. Thus far the stock has not violated its five-week trend of higher lows but it may be a good time to raise your stop loss.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new plays in TOT at this time.

Picked on December 13 at $130.25
Change since picked: - 1.22
Earnings Date 02/15/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 936 thousand

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Tractor Supply - TSCO - cls: 54.27 chg: -0.46 stop: 51.95

TSCO's performance has been very similar to PII's. The stock was surging higher only to see the rally killed by an analyst downgrade. TSCO has not recovered from the December 7th downgrade and shares have consolidated sideways since. Granted volume has been below average during the consolidation and that tends to be more bullish. A look at the intraday chart shows some late day weakness on Friday. We suspect that TSCO will test last week's lows near $53.50. If that fails then the stock should have more support near $52.50. We are not suggesting new positions.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new plays in TSCO at this time.

Picked on November 30 at $ 52.75
Change since picked: + 1.52
Earnings Date 01/18/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 428 thousand

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Valero Energy - VLO - close: 52.27 chg: -1.17 stop: 49.74

VLO's 2-for-1 split has taken effect but it didn't stop VLO from losing more than 2% during Friday's sell-off in the oil stocks. Currently shares are testing minor support near $52.00. If the group continues to see weakness we'll look for a dip back toward technical support with the 50-dma and 100-dma just above the $50 level. A bounce from here or the $50 level could be used as a new bullish entry point. We are not suggesting new plays at this time. Our post-split target is $58.50. FYI: VLO is also a current strangle play in the strangle section.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new plays in VLO at this time.

Picked on December 08 at $ 53.28 (split adjusted)
Change since picked: - 1.01
Earnings Date 01/30/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 9.8 million

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Zimmer Holdings - ZMH - close: 71.55 chg: +1.56 stop: 67.75 *new*

ZMH continues to show relative strength and added 2.2% on Friday to breakout to new three-month highs. The move on Friday was also a breakout over the 100-dma. Our target is the $74.00-75.00 range under its simple 200-dma. The Point & Figure chart is pretty bullish with a $90.000 target. We are not suggesting new plays right here. We are raising our stop loss to $67.75.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new plays in ZMH at this time.

Picked on December 11 at $ 68.62
Change since picked: + 2.93
Earnings Date 01/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.6 million
 

Put Updates

Magna Int. - MGA - close: 69.25 chg: +0.31 stop: 70.31

We are growing increasingly uncomfortable with the rebound in shares of MGA. Fundamentally we don't see why investors would be buying MGA after GM and Ford issued major restructuring programs that includes production cut backs. If GM and F make fewer vehicles then MGA should be selling fewer parts. Technically we're seeing mixed signals. The volume over the last three days has been pretty bullish, which is of course bad news for us. Technically the stock is also looking short-term overbought and due for a dip since shares are up six out of the last seven days. MGA also remains under its multi-week and multi-month trendline of lower highs in addition to still being under resistance at the 200-dma near the $70.00 mark. The P&F chart points to a $61 target. We are going to leave the play open but we are not suggesting new bearish positions. More conservative traders may want to think about exiting early to avoid further losses.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new plays in MGA at this time.

Picked on December 04 at $ 68.14
Change since picked: + 1.11
Earnings Date 02/07/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 318 thousand

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Netflix - NFLX - close: 26.30 chg: +0.36 stop: 27.45

NFLX is performing as we expected. The oversold bounce rocketed right up to the $27.00 level but under its simple 50-dma. This looks like a failed rally traders could use for a new bearish entry point but only aggressive traders may want to consider initiating new positions. The biggest risk is a short squeeze. We are not suggesting new positions and more conservative traders may want to tighten their stops toward Friday's high. Our target is $22.55. The P&F chart points to a $15 target.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new plays in NFLX at this time.


Picked on December 09 at $ 25.99
Change since picked: + 0.31
Earnings Date 01/18/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.4 million
 

Strangle Updates

(What is a strangle? It's when a trader buys an out-of-the-money (OTM) call and an OTM put on the same stock. The strategy is neutral. You do not care what direction the stock moves as long as the move is big enough to make your investment profitable.)

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Amer. Eagle Out. - AEOS - cls: 21.16 chg: -0.33 stop: n/a

AEOS is turning lower again after spending a week failing to breakout over resistance at the $22.00 level. New comments on Friday that holiday retail sales were only so-so could be undermining investor confidence in the sector again. We're not suggesting new plays. The current strangle has an estimated cost of $2.35 with the January $27.50 calls (AQU-AY) and the January $22.50 puts (AQU-MX). We are targeting a rise to $4.70. FYI: currently the January $22.50 puts are trading at $1.80bid/$1.90ask.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions.

Picked on November 13 at $ 25.47
Change since picked: - 4.31
Earnings Date 11/15/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.6 million


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Abercrombie&Fitch - ANF - close: 63.34 chg: -0.50 stop: n/a

ANF is still trying to breakout over resistance at the $65.00 level but the same concerns affecting AEOS are influencing ANF as well. We have about five weeks left before January options expire. If you don't think ANF is going to make it over the $65 mark then consider exiting early right here to salvage trading capital. We haven't given up yet on a year-end rally. We are not suggesting new strangle positions at this time. The options in our strangle are the January $65 calls (ANF-AM) and the January $55 puts (ANF-MK). Our estimated cost was $5.15. We're looking for a rise to $8.50.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions.

Picked on November 13 at $ 59.67
Change since picked: + 3.67
Earnings Date 11/15/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.7 million

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Blue Coat Sys. - BCSI - cls: 43.26 chg: -2.19 stop: n/a

BCSI has finally broken out from its narrow, four-week sideways consolidation near the $45.00 level. The stock broke down under the $44 level and dipped toward the $42 area and its 100-dma. Shares did bounce after essentially "filling the gap" from the November 22nd gap higher. We're not convinced that the new direction will be down but BCSI is no longer in our entry window of $45.50-44.50. If the stock rebounds back to the $45 level next week we would consider new strangle positions but we'd probably use the February (not available yet) or April strikes. Thus far we've been suggesting the January options. Our current play involves the January $50 call and the January $40 put. Our estimated cost is $3.25. We're aiming for a rise to $5.50. Remember we have about five weeks left before January options expire.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions.

Picked on December 04 at $ 45.43
Change since picked: - 2.17
Earnings Date 02/14/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 416 thousand

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Chicago Merc. Exchg. - CME - cls: 369.01 chg: +0.89 stop: n/a

Market makers managed to do a fine job of pegging CME near the $370 level on Friday. This incredibly volatile stock traded in a very narrow range for the last four hours of the trading day on Friday. Where the stock goes from here is a guess. The charts are throwing off mixed signals with the daily chart very close to a new MACD buy signal versus the weekly chart showing a relatively new MACD sell signal. The Point & Figure chart displays a sell signal that points to a $312 target. We are not suggesting new strangle positions at this time. Our current play involves the January $400 calls (CMJ-AK) and the January $350 puts (CMJ-MA). Our estimated cost was $26.70. We're aiming for a rise to $40.00 in the strangle before January options expire.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions.

Picked on November 20 at $375.90
Change since picked: - 6.89
Earnings Date 01/24/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 879 thousand

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D.R.Horton - DHI - close: 37.81 chg: +0.27 stop: n/a

The homebuilding stocks churned mostly sideways on Friday in spite of positive earnings news and comments from KB Home (KBH) on Thursday night. Investors could be waiting for some economic data next week with the building permits and housing starts out on Monday. DHI turned in a solid week with a breakout from its bull flag pattern. We are not suggesting new strangles in DHI at this time. Our current play involves the January $35 calls (DHI-AG) and the January $30 puts (DHI-MF). Our estimated cost was $3.15. We're aiming for a rise to $6.00. FYI: the DHI-AG calls are currently trading at $3.50bid/$3.70ask. The high today was $3.90.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions.

Picked on November 13 at $ 32.56
Change since picked: + 5.25
Earnings Date 02/15/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.2 million


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Four Seasons - FS - close: 48.49 chg: -0.06 stop: n/a

FS continues to slowly decline. The pattern looks very bearish but we may be facing a time crunch challenge. If we hold on to this play we're betting that FS will trade into the $46-45 range before January options expire in five weeks - at least with our current target at $5.00 for the strangle. Traders may want to adjust their target or consider exiting early at breakeven. We are not suggesting new strangles at this time. The options in our strangle were the January $60 calls (FS-AL) and the January $50 puts (FS-MJ). Our estimated cost was about $2.60. We're aiming for a rise to $5.00 or more. FYI: the FS-MJ puts are trading at $2.35bid/$2.65ask.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions.

Picked on November 08 at $ 55.37
Change since picked: - 6.88
Earnings Date 11/10/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 319 thousand

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Lear Corp - LEA - close: 28.48 chg: +0.11 stop: n/a

LEA's performance on Friday was almost an exact mirror of what happened to the stock on Thursday. The stock gapped higher at the open, immediately failed, drifted to its lows by the afternoon and then rebounded higher into the closing bell. The overall pattern for the past week has been a sideways trading range between $28-29 with the 50-dma adding extra resistance to the top of the range. We have five weeks left before January options expire. By holding on to this play we're essentially betting that LEA will trade under $25 before January expiration. Right now the odds of that happening don't look so great so we're adjusting our target to break even at $1.60. We are no longer suggesting new strangle positions. The options in our strangle are the January $35 calls (LEA-AG) and the January $25 puts (LEA-ME). Our estimated cost was $1.60.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions.

Picked on November 06 at $ 30.24
Change since picked: - 1.76
Earnings Date 01/25/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.8 million

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Verifone Holdings - PAY - cls: 24.45 chg: -0.20 stop: n/a

PAY managed to rally back toward resistance at the $25.00 level this past week. If there is a Santa Claus rally for the markets then odds are good that PAY might manage to breakout. We have five weeks left before January options expire. We're not suggesting new positions. Our current strangle involves the January $22.50 calls (PAY-AX) and the January $17.50 puts (PAY-MW). Our estimated cost was $2.60 and we're aiming for a rise to $4.50 or more. Currently the PAY-AX calls are trading at $2.25bid/$2.65ask. The high on Friday was $2.70.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions.

Picked on October 12 at $ 19.98
Change since picked: + 4.47
Earnings Date 12/01/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 259 thousand

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Questar Corp. - STR - close: 81.92 chg: -1.97 stop: n/a

STR has produced a very bullish December so far. Friday's session was profit taking. Unfortunately, the three-day pattern looks like a short-term top. There are about five weeks left before January options expire. We are no longer suggesting strangle positions in the stock. Our strangle involves the January $80 calls (STR-AP) and the January $70 puts (STR-MN). Our estimated cost was $5.10 and we're aiming for a rise to $9.50 or more. FYI: the STR-AP calls are trading at $3.90bid/$4.20ask.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions.

Picked on November 20 at $ 76.25
Change since picked: + 5.67
Earnings Date 01/26/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 716 thousand

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Texas Ind. - TXI - close: 50.75 chg: -1.15 stop: n/a

The mid December earnings report is a no show. New data puts TXI's earnings report at January 5th. That is bad news. We were counting on the earnings news to push TXI out of its sideways consolidation pattern. Waiting until January 5th doesn't give us much time for the stock to move before January options expire. Traders have a decision to make. Our estimated cost was $2.70. Right now we should be able to exit the calls (TXI-AK) at $1.00. That's a substantial loss but it's not a total wipe out. We are going to keep the play open because TXI's earnings reports tend to produce $5.00 moves in the stock price. We are not suggesting new strangle positions. The options in our strangle are the January $55 calls (TXI-AK) and the January $45 puts (TXI-MI). Our estimated cost is $2.70. We're looking for a rise to $5.00 or more.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions.

Picked on November 27 at $ 49.57
Change since picked: + 1.18
Earnings Date 12/15/05 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 354 thousand

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Valero Energy - VLO - close: 52.27 chg: -1.17 stop: n/a

VLO's 2-for-1 stock split took effect on Friday. The stock lost more than 2% as traders took profits in the oil sector. We are not suggesting new strangle plays. Our current play involves the January $110 calls (VLO-AB) and the January $90 puts (VLO-MR). Our adjusted cost is $2.93. Our adjusted target is $4.75.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions.

Picked on November 21 at $ 50.50
Change since picked: + 1.77
Earnings Date 01/30/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.7 million
 

Dropped Calls

Hydril - HYDL - close: 67.37 change: -2.26 stop: 65.95

We are going to bail out of HYDL! Friday's 3.2% decline in HYDL does not bode well for the bulls. The stock is part of the oil services sector and while the overall trend for the OSX index remains bullish the group could easily see more profit taking. We initially listed HYDL as a candidate with a trigger over $71.00 since the stock shows a bullish or inverted head-and-shoulders pattern on the daily chart. Yet HYDL is not seeing any follow through on this past week's move over the $71 level. Instead the recent spike above $71.00 in HYDL is looking like a bull trap. The P&F chart also shows a new bull trap formation. The stock does have some support near $66.00 but it looks like shares are probably headed toward $65 and its 50-dma. We'll exit now and look for a new entry point down the road.

Picked on December 12 at $ 71.01
Change since picked: - 3.64
Earnings Date 01/23/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 263 thousand

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Rockwell Autom. - ROK - cls: 59.81 chg: -0.13 stop: 57.95

The rally has grown pretty tired in shares of ROK. The stock has come close to hitting our target near $61 multiple times. We feel that the best course of action is to probably do a little profit taking of our own and exit early. There is still a chance for a year-end rally in the markets and in ROK but we don't want to risk it.

Picked on November 03 at $ 55.90
Change since picked: + 3.91
Earnings Date 11/03/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 804 thousand

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Sunoco Inc. - SUN - close: 79.35 chg: -2.33 stop: 76.45

The profit taking in refiner SUN is picking up speed. The stock has consolidated sideways for most of December but the last two days have seen the stock fall through support at the $80.00 level. Friday's decline (-2.8%) also produced a new sell signal on its MACD indicator. We remain long-term bullish on the refiners (fyi: they've been one of the best performing industries this year) but short-term this looks like a sell signal so we're going to exit early! Keep an eye on the 100-dma, which has been consistent support in the past.

Picked on December 02 at $ 81.75
Change since picked: - 2.40
Earnings Date 02/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.8 million
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

AmerisourceBergen - ABC - cls: 81.93 chg: +0.68 stop: n/a

ABC bucked the bearish trend in the markets on Friday. The stock added 0.8% to close at a new high. Our plan was to exit near Friday's close. The December $80 calls (ABC-LP) closed at $1.90bid/$2.00 ask. Our estimated cost was $2.80 for the strangle.

Picked on October 16 at $ 74.81
Change since picked: + 7.12
Earnings Date 11/03/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 900 thousand

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Loews - LTR - close: 96.50 change: -0.40 close: n/a

By mid November this play was looking pretty good. Unfortunately, shares of LTR have been stuck in a range between $96 and $98 for the last four weeks. Our recently adjusted plans called for an exit near Friday's closing bell. The December $95 calls (LTR-LS) closed at $1.40bid/$1.65ask with a high for the day at $2.05. Our estimated cost was $3.05.

Picked on October 23 at $ 89.94
Change since picked: + 6.56
Earnings Date 10/27/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 602 thousand

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Protein Design Labs - PDLI - cls: 29.00 chg: +0.03 stop: n/a

PDLI never managed to pick a real direction after its earnings report in early November. The sudden rally higher in mid November stalled and the sideways trading action doomed our strangle play.

Picked on October 30 at $ 27.70
Change since picked: + 1.30
Earnings Date 11/01/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.8 million

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Spectrum Brands - SPC - close: 20.43 change: +0.37 stop: n/a

SPC is another failed strangle play. The initial post-earnings drop on November 10th was favorable but the stock rebounded too strongly and then churned sideways for three weeks. The upgrade-fueled spike higher this past week just put the nail in the coffin.

Picked on November 08 at $ 20.63
Change since picked: - 0.20
Earnings Date 11/10/05 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 576 thousand
 

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