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Call Updates

Ashland - ASH - close: 65.98 change: +0.71 stop: 64.75

A rebound in the markets today helped ASH bounce from the $65.00 level. Aggressive traders might want to consider bullish positions here. We are going to wait. We're suggesting a trigger to buy calls at $67.05. If triggered then we'll target a rally into the $72.00-72.50 range.

Picked on February xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 01/31/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 689 thousand

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Beazer Homes - BZH - close: 63.71 change: +0.26 stop: 62.65

As a group the homebuilders did not truly participate in the broad-based rally today. Shares of BZH are still hovering above technical support at their 200-dma. We are not suggesting new bullish positions at this time.

Picked on February 15 at $ 65.05
Change since picked: - 1.34
Earnings Date 01/19/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.2 million

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Cephalon - CEPH - close: 81.03 change: +1.55 stop: 74.99

CEPH traded to a new high today and today's 1.95% gain puts the stock within striking distance of our target. We're aiming for a move into the $82.00-82.50 range. More conservative traders may want to consider exiting for a profit right here.

Picked on February 23 at $ 76.65
Change since picked: + 4.38
Earnings Date 02/14/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.5 million

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Cigna - CI - close: 122.85 change: +0.10 stop: 119.90

CI's failure to bounce higher with the rest of the market today is not a good sign. Traders should be careful here. More conservative traders may want to consider using a tighter stop under $122.00. We will leave our stop loss at $119.90 for now. We're not suggesting new bullish positions at this time.

Picked on February 26 at $124.57
Change since picked: - 1.72
Earnings Date 02/08/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 944 thousand

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F5 Networks - FFIV - close: 67.92 chg: +0.12 stop: 63.85

We are a little surprised that the rally in the computer networking sector, driven by big gains in CSCO and JNPR, somehow managed to leave FFIV behind. We're not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. We plan to exit in the $69.95-70.00 range. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher say the $72.50-75.00 region.

Picked on February 26 at $ 67.16
Change since picked: + 0.72
Earnings Date 01/19/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.0 million

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Hartford Fin. Srv. - HIG - cls: 83.50 chg: +1.12 stop: 79.95

The bounce from $82 might be used as a new bullish entry point but be aware that HIG appears to have some resistance near $85-86 and its 50-dma now at 84.72. Our target is the $87.50 level.

Picked on February 14 at $ 82.12
Change since picked: + 1.38
Earnings Date 01/26/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million

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MDC Holdings - MDC - close: 61.19 chg: -0.10 stop: 61.15

There is no change from our weekend update for MDC. The homebuilders continue to see profit taking and MDC is slipping toward the $60.00 level. We remain on the sidelines with MDC. Our plan is to catch the next leg higher with a trigger to buy calls at $65.05. If triggered we will target a rally into the $69.50-70.00 range.

Picked on February xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 04/18/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 856 thousand

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Altria Group - MO - close: 72.05 chg: +0.15 stop: 71.85

There is no change from our previous update on MO. We are still spectators at the moment. Currently our plan suggests readers buy calls on a breakout over $74.00 with a trigger at $74.10. However, we will be watching to see if MO bounces from technical support at its rising 200-dma currently near 71.00.

Picked on February xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 04/19/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 8.1 million

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Occidental Petrol. - OXY - cls: 92.64 chg: +1.10 stop: 85.95

Oil stocks managed to bounce with the rest of the market. The OIX index added 1.7% and the OSX oil services index added 1.9%. Shares of OXY rebounded with a 1.2% gain and look ready to push past the $94 level soon. Our target is the February highs in the $97.50-98.00 range.

Picked on February 21 at $ 92.00 *gap higher*
Change since picked: + 0.64
Earnings Date 05/09/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.4 million

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Potash - POT - close: 97.27 chg: +1.52 stop: 92.49 *new*

POT pushed past resistance at the $96.00 level again on strong, above average volume. The stock looks ready to make a run at our target in the $99.50-100.00 range. We are raising our stop loss to $92.49.

Picked on February 23 at $ 93.05
Change since picked: + 4.22
Earnings Date 04/29/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 826 thousand

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Prudential - PRU - close: 76.07 change: -0.97 stop: 74.59

Uh-oh! PRU displayed some relative weakness today and lost 1.2%. Watch for a bounce from the $75.00 level as a potential entry point but more conservative traders may want to wait for a new move over $77.00 before considering new calls. Our target is the $82.00-82.50 range. We do expect some resistance near $80.00.

Picked on February 24 at $ 77.10
Change since picked: - 1.03
Earnings Date 02/08/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.9 million

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Total - TOT - close: 126.94 change: +0.81 stop: 124.95

We expected TOT to bounce from support and it did today but the rebound was a little anemic. Influencing the rally in TOT was a downgrade from Goldman Sachs. Aggressive traders might want to consider new bullish positions here. More conservative types could wait for a move over the 100-dma (128.62) or still wait for a move over $130.00 and/or its 50-dma.

Picked on February 16 at $127.61
Change since picked: - 0.67
Earnings Date 02/15/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 836 thousand
 

Put Updates

None
 

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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Building Materials - BMHC - cls: 67.35 chg: +0.05 stop: n/a

We see BMHC's relative weakness today as a positive sign but a bounce back to $70.00 would not be a surprise. We recently adjusted our target to breakeven at $8.20 but aggressive traders may want to aim higher. We are not suggesting new strangle positions. The options in our strangle play are the March $90 calls (BGU-CR) and the March $70 puts (BGU-ON). Our estimated cost is $8.20.

Picked on December 18 at $ 80.95
Change since picked: -13.60
Earnings Date 02/07/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 527 thousand

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Encana Corp. - ECA - close: 41.80 chg: +0.49 stop: n/a

We are not suggesting new strangle positions. Our strangle strategy involves the April $50 calls (ECA-DJ) and the April $40 puts (ECA-PH). Our estimated cost is $3.45. We are aiming for a rise to $5.95.

Picked on January 10 at $ 45.56
Change since picked: - 3.76
Earnings Date 02/15/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.4 million

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Loews Corp. - LTR - close: 93.99 change: +1.73 stop: n/a

Yesterday we suggested that LTR looked ready for an oversold bounce and today's market rebound was all the excuse LTR needed. We are not suggesting new strangle positions. Buying this strangle was a bet that LTR will be trading at more than $102 (above resistance) or less than $88 (under support) by March expiration. The options in our strangle are the March $100 calls (LTR-CT) and the March $90 puts (LTR-OR). Our estimated cost is $1.75.

Picked on February 13 at $ 95.72
Change since picked: - 1.73
Earnings Date 02/16/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 513 thousand

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Ryland Group - RYL - close: 69.70 change: -0.05 stop: n/a

We are not suggesting new strangle positions at this time. Our play involves the April $80 calls (RYL-DP) and the April $70 puts (RYL-PN). Our estimated cost is $7.00. Our target is $12.00.

Picked on January 22 at $ 75.19
Change since picked: - 4.50
Earnings Date 01/24/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million
 

Dropped Calls

Amer. Science. - ASEI - cls: 83.55 chg: +7.46 stop: 69.99

Target achieved. Wednesday was a big day for ASEI. The stock soared to new highs adding 9.8% on big volume. Driving the move was both news and analyst comments. This morning ASEI announced it had won a $45 million contract from a Middle East customs agency to install their X-ray detection systems at strategic borders, seaports and airports. Plus, before the opening bell two analyst firms reiterated their positive ratings on ASEI and raised their price targets into the $90s. Our short-term target on ASEI was the $79.75-80.00 range.

Picked on February 23 at $ 74.05
Change since picked: + 9.50
Earnings Date 02/08/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 178 thousand

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Tenaris S.A. - TS - cls: 167.25 chg: +7.10 stop: 153.45

Target achieved. TS was strong from the start this morning and shares pushed through resistance at the $165.00 level to hit new highs. The MACD has produced a new buy signal. Our target was the $164.00-165.00 range but we mentioned earlier that more aggressive traders may want to aim higher since a move over $165.00 would be seen as a new bullish breakout.

Picked on February 21 at $156.22
Change since picked: +11.03
Earnings Date 03/01/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 516 thousand
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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