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Call Updates

Arch Cap. Grp. - ACGL - cls: 58.39 chg: +0.43 stop: 55.95

ACGL continues to inch higher and the move over $58.00 is bullish. We would consider new bullish positions here. Our target is a move into the $62.50-63.00 range. We do not want to hold over the late April earnings report.

Picked on April 03 at $ 58.15
Change since picked: + 0.24
Earnings Date 04/24/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 195 thousand

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Amerada Hess - AHC - close: 148.24 chg: +3.70 stop: 139.95

We did not have to wait long for AHC to hit our trigger. A rise in crude oil futures and concerns over oil and gas inventories helped push the oil sector higher. Shares of AHC produced a 2.55% gain, which is a nice follow through on yesterday's bullish engulfing candlestick pattern. We suggested a trigger to buy calls at $146.51. We are encouraged by the big volume on today's breakout from its consolidation pattern. Volume was more than double the daily average. The play is now open and our target is the $154.00-155.00 range. We do not want to hold over the late April earnings report so our time frame is just 22 days.

Picked on April 05 at $146.51
Change since picked: + 1.73
Earnings Date 04/26/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million

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Anadarko Petrol. - APC - cls: 105.00 chg: +1.08 stop: 97.90

APC is another oil-sector winner but the rally in APC seems a bit more muted than its peers. Today marks a new monthly closing high. We are aiming for the $109.50-110.00 range. We do not want to hold over the late April earnings report.

Picked on March 28 at $102.10
Change since picked: + 2.90
Earnings Date 04/28/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.5 million

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Burlington NrthSanta Fe - BNI - cls: 86.14 chg: -0.36 stop: 79.95

BNI came within 4 cents of our target at the $87.50 level. We are suggesting that more conservative traders consider locking in gains here. More aggressive traders might want to aim for the $90 region. The strength in the transportation sector is a positive influence here but a lot of the sector's gains has been driven by the railroads. We do not want to hold over BNI's late April earnings report.

Picked on March 27 at $ 82.51
Change since picked: + 3.63
Earnings Date 04/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.1 million

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Bear Stearns - BSC - close: 142.68 change: +1.43 stop: 131.99

BSC is nearing our target in the $144-145 range. More conservative traders may want to consider locking in some profits right here. We are not suggesting new positions at this time.

Picked on March 24 at $137.65
Change since picked: + 5.03
Earnings Date 06/15106 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million

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ConocoPhillips - COP - close: 66.56 chg: +1.41 stop: 61.45

COP is seeing some nice follow through on the recent bounce from support. Today's move over the $65.00 level is another bullish development. Our target for COP is the $69-70 range. The P&F chart for COP is bullish with a triangle breakout and an $82 target.

Picked on March 29 at $ 64.80
Change since picked: + 1.76
Earnings Date 04/26/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.5 million

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Deere Co - DE - close: 80.91 change: +0.45 stop: 75.95

DE hit another new high today and the stock. Our target is the $84.00-85.00 range. The P&F chart is bullish and points to a $112 target.

Picked on March 22 at $ 77.29
Change since picked: + 3.62
Earnings Date 05/16/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.6 million

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Grainger W.W.Inc. - GWW - close: 77.40 change: +0.89 stop: 73.95

The technical picture with GWW is definitely improving with the stock finally breaking out to new highs. Our target is the $79.90-80.00 range. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher but we would not hold over the mid-April earnings report.

Picked on March 30 at $ 76.51
Change since picked: + 0.89
Earnings Date 04/17/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 449 thousand

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Halliburton - HAL - close: 77.34 chg: +2.14 stop: 71.45

The rally continues for oil-service stock HAL. Our target will be the $79.85-80.00 range. More aggressive traders may want to aim for the January highs near $82. The P&F chart looks very bullish with a $90 target. We do not want to hold over the April 21st earnings report.

Picked on April 04 at $ 75.20
Change since picked: + 2.14
Earnings Date 04/21/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 8.0 million

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Lehman Brothers - LEH - close: 148.46 change: +1.33 stop: 140.79

LEH's MACD on the daily chart has finally produced a new buy signal. The stock made its first attempt at breaking out past the $150 region today. If the market continues to be strong we expect LEH to breakout. Please note that we are adjusting our exit strategy. We are suggesting that readers consider selling half their positions at $153.00 and then sell the second half of their position at $159.00.

Picked on March 22 at $144.61
Change since picked: + 3.85
Earnings Date 06/14/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.0 million

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Nabors Inds. - NBR - close: 72.98 chg: +0.98 stop: 68.85

The rebound continues in shares of NBR. The stock bounced from the $70 level yesterday and bulls continue to pursue the stock today. NBR appears to have produced a small bull-flag pattern. Our target is the $74.00-75.00 range but more conservative traders may want to lock in some profits right now. Don't forget that NBR is due to split 2-for-1 on April 18th. We plan to exit ahead of the late April earnings report.

Picked on March 28 at $ 68.85*gap higher*
Change since picked: + 4.13
Earnings Date 04/27/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.7 million

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Pantry Inc. - PTRY - close: 65.03 chg: +0.91 stop: 58.85

Chalk up another one for the bulls. PTRY hit another new high today. Our only complaint was the less than average volume. Our target is the $67.00-68.00 range. The P&F chart points to a $78 target. We do not want to hold over the late April earnings report.

Picked on March 26 at $ 61.85
Change since picked: + 3.18
Earnings Date 04/27/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 364 thousand
 

Put Updates

Apollo Group - APOL - close: 51.20 chg: +0.33 stop: 53.31

We see no change from Tuesday's new play description. APOL continues to be weak and is still trading inside its bearish channel. We're suggesting a trigger to buy puts at $49.85, which is under support at the $50.00 level. If triggered we will have two targets. Our first target is the $45.50-45.00 range. Conservative traders can exit here, the rest of us we're suggesting sell half their position. We'll keep the other half open and target a decline into the $41.00-40.00 range, which is closer to the bottom of its channel. Please note that APOL has a two-day analyst meeting April 5th and 6th and news from that meeting could send shares either direction. Some of our readers might want to wait until after the analyst meeting before considering positions.

Picked on April xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 06/22/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.4 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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Encana Corp. - ECA - close: 48.43 chg: -0.34 stop: n/a

Oddly enough ECA did not participate in the market's or the oil-sector's rally today. Shares spent the session sides and closed in the red. 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.

Picked on January 10 at $ 45.56
Change since picked: + 2.87
Earnings Date 02/15/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.4 million

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Ryland Group - RYL - close: 73.24 change: +3.60 stop: n/a

This is bad news! The 5% rally in the homebuilders was mirrored in shares of RYL. Today's gain in RYL is a breakout over resistance near $72.50 and its 200-dma. Volume was above average. Given our time frame with this strangle this looks like the killing blow. It also looks like the breakout from an inverse or bullish head-and-shoulders pattern. We are not suggesting new strangle positions. Our play involves the April $80 calls (RYL-DP) and the April $70 puts (RYL-PN).

Picked on January 22 at $ 75.19
Change since picked: - 1.95
Earnings Date 01/24/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million
 

Dropped Calls

Apple Computer - AAPL - close: 67.21 chg: +6.04 stop: 57.65

Target achieved. From the beginning we said our target was the simple 50-dma and AAPL hit the 50-dma late this afternoon. The big 9.87% rally was fueled by news out this morning. AAPL announced new software that allows its Intel-based Mac computers to use Microsoft's Windows XP operating system. Shares gapped open at $64.71 and surged into the closing bell. Given the strength of today's rally and the big volume we would expect the stock to continue higher tomorrow. More aggressive traders may want to aim for the $70 region. There might be some minor resistance near $68.00.

Picked on March 29 at $ 62.30
Change since picked: + 4.91
Earnings Date 04/19/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 34.2 million

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Southern Peru Copper - PCU - close: 91.00 chg: +4.01 stop: 79.95

Target achieved. Actually PCU has surpassed our target in the $89.50-90.00 range. The metal and mining stocks were on fire today. PCU added 4.6%. PD rallied 3.5% to close at a new high. FCX added 3% to challenge its highs. RTP added another 3.17% to close at a new high. More aggressive traders may want to let their PCU positions ride a bit longer. Stocks that break the $90 level tend to hit the $100 region as the $100 mark acts like a psychological magnet.

Picked on March 30 at $ 84.50*gap higher*
Change since picked: + 6.50
Earnings Date 04/24/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.3 million

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Panera Bread - PNRA - close: 72.15 chg: -2.81 stop: 71.95

PNRA surprised us today with a 3.7% decline on big volume. The company reported better than expected same-store sales growth of 9.3% for March. Yet investors reacted negatively. Some speculated that the market wanted to see even stronger growth. Shares dipped under the $72.00 level and hit our stop loss at $71.95, closing the play.

Picked on April 02 at $ 75.18
Change since picked: - 3.03
Earnings Date 05/16/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 458 thousand

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Toyota Motor Corp. - TM - close: 112.64 chg: +2.24 stop: 105.95

Target achieved. The U.S. ADR shares of TM finally showed some volume today, even though volume remains under the daily average. More importantly TM surged 2% to hit our target in the $112.50-115.00 range. Traders with a longer-term horizon may want to aim higher.

Picked on March 12 at $106.68
Change since picked: + 5.96
Earnings Date 02/07/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 438 thousand

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Tenaris - TS - close: 202.24 chg: +12.04 stop: 177.79

Target achieved. We can thank Morgan Stanley for TS' relative strength today. The analyst firm raised their price target on the U.S. shares of TS from $215 to $250 stating that earnings growth looked strong given the "ongoing boom for offshore drilling rigs" (source: Reuters). Our target was the $198-200 range. Given the strength of the rally today more aggressive traders may want to let their positions ride a bit long and just up their stop losses. Yet keep in mind that TS has an analyst conference tomorrow and news from that meeting could send the stock either direction!

Picked on April 03 at $186.75
Change since picked: +15.49
Earnings Date 05/01/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 553 thousand

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Valero Energy - VLO - close: 62.50 change: +2.66 stop: 56.45

Target achieved. The rally in the oil sector finally rubbed off on shares of VLO. The stock added 4.44% on above average volume. Our target was the $62.50-63.00 range. Traders might want to keep an eye on fellow refiner SUN, which just broke out over its 50-dma.

Picked on March 15 at $ 57.55
Change since picked: + 4.95
Earnings Date 05/02/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.7 million
 

Dropped Puts

Texas Industries - TXI - cls: 61.20 chg: +2.16 stop: 61.35

The market rally was just too strong today and TXI rebounded back above the $60 level to hit our stop loss at $61.35. The play is closed.

Picked on April 03 at $ 59.25
Change since picked: + 1.95
Earnings Date 03/30/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 392 thousand
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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