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Call Updates

Ashland - ASH - close: 65.39 change: -0.59 stop: 64.75

ASH is still consolidating sideways between $65 and $66.50. We are 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: 63.90 change: +0.19 stop: 62.65

Homebuilder BZH is still stuck in a tight trading range bouncing along technical support at the simple 200-dma. We are not suggesting new bullish positions at this time but readers can watch for a move over $65.00 as a potential new entry point to buy calls.

Picked on February 15 at $ 65.05
Change since picked: - 1.15
Earnings Date 01/19/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.2 million

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Cigna - CI - close: 123.31 change: +0.46 stop: 119.90

CI was starting to show a little bit of strength later this afternoon but we remain cautious. 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'd look for another move over $124 before considering bullish positions.

Picked on February 26 at $124.57
Change since picked: - 1.26
Earnings Date 02/08/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 944 thousand

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Hartford Fin. Srv. - HIG - cls: 82.90 chg: -0.60 stop: 79.95

HIG failed to produce any sort of follow through on yesterday's bounce. We would be extra careful here and we're not suggesting new positions. If the major averages turn lower then HIG will most likely pull back toward support near $80 and its 200-dma. Our target is the $87.50 level.

Picked on February 14 at $ 82.12
Change since picked: + 0.78
Earnings Date 01/26/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million

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MDC Holdings - MDC - close: 60.65 chg: -0.54 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: 71.61 chg: -0.44 stop: 71.85

There is no change for our play with MO since we remain on the sidelines. We're still waiting for a bullish breakout but MO is sliding lower toward technical support at its 200-dma. If shares traded under $71.00 (or $70.00) traders might want to switch gears and begin looking for a bearish entry point. Currently our plan suggests readers buy calls on a breakout over $74.00 with a trigger at $74.10.

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: 94.28 chg: +1.64 stop: 89.49*new*

Oil stocks were in rally mode today and crude oil futures closed over $63.00 a barrel. Oil services stocks really turned in a strong performance. OXY added 1.77% and looks ready to make a run at our target in the $97.50-98.00 range. We are raising our stop loss to $89.49.

Picked on February 21 at $ 92.00 *gap higher*
Change since picked: + 2.28
Earnings Date 05/09/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.4 million


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Potash - POT - close: 98.78 chg: +1.51 stop: 92.49

POT is almost there. The stock added another 1.55% today and is nearing our target in the $99.50-100.00 range. More conservative traders may want to seriously consider just exiting early right here to protect any profits.

Picked on February 23 at $ 93.05
Change since picked: + 5.73
Earnings Date 04/29/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 826 thousand

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Prudential - PRU - close: 75.59 change: -0.48 stop: 74.95 *new*

It might be time to abandon ship with PRU. The stock has been showing relative weakness for the last couple of sessions. We are not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. Instead we are going to inch up our stop loss to $74.95.

Picked on February 24 at $ 77.10
Change since picked: - 1.51
Earnings Date 02/08/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.9 million

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Total - TOT - close: 127.30 change: +0.36 stop: 124.95

TOT is trying to bounce from support but it is struggling. 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: - 0.31
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: 69.09 chg: +1.74 stop: n/a

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 and our target has been adjusted to breakeven. Don't forget that BMHC has a stock split coming on March 15th.

Picked on December 18 at $ 80.95
Change since picked: -11.86
Earnings Date 02/07/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 527 thousand

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Encana Corp. - ECA - close: 43.23 chg: +1.43 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: - 2.33
Earnings Date 02/15/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.4 million

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Loews Corp. - LTR - close: 94.62 change: +0.63 stop: n/a

LTR continues to produce an oversold bounce but it appeared to be stalling out toward the closing bell. 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: - 1.10
Earnings Date 02/16/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 513 thousand

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Ryland Group - RYL - close: 70.06 change: +0.36 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: - 4.14
Earnings Date 01/24/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million
 

Dropped Calls

Cephalon - CEPH - close: 81.63 change: +0.60 stop: 74.99

CEPH almost made it to our target today. Shares hit a high of $81.98 this morning and later this afternoon traded multiple times to the $81.80 level. Our target has been the $82.00-82.50 range. We don't have any specific reason to exit CEPH early. The stock has been showing relative strength. We're just a little bit worried that CEPH is starting to look short-term oversold and due for another dip. We'd rather exit now near our target and look for another entry point later, especially with the major averages so choppy. More aggressive traders may want to keep the play alive. The P&F chart points to a $93 target.

Picked on February 23 at $ 76.65
Change since picked: + 4.98
Earnings Date 02/14/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.5 million

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F5 Networks - FFIV - close: 68.75 chg: +0.83 stop: 63.85

Target achieved. FFIV finally made a run at the $70.00 level and hit $70.15 before consolidating lower. Driving the move higher today were positive analyst comments from Piper Jaffray. The firm reiterated their "out perform" rating and raised their price target to $78. Our short-term target was the $69.95-70.00 range. We've been suggesting that more aggressive traders might want to aim for the $72.50 region.

Picked on February 26 at $ 67.16
Change since picked: + 1.59
Earnings Date 01/19/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.0 million
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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