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Call Updates

Arch Cap. Grp. - ACGL - cls: 57.99 chg: -0.03 stop: 55.95

Unfortunately there is little change in ACGL today. The stock continues to consolidate sideways and shares churned in a narrow range today. We see no changes from our weekend update and would continue to look for a dip toward the $57 level. We're not suggesting new bullish positions. Our target is currently 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: - 0.16
Earnings Date 04/27/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 195 thousand

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Amerada Hess - AHC - close: 147.74 chg: +1.90 stop: 139.95

The war of words between the White House and Iran is escalating. Over the weekend there was new talk about the U.S. considering military options against Iran, a major oil exporter. The price of crude oil closed over $69 a barrel. This lifted the oil sectors and shares of AHC added 1.3%. We remain bullish on the stock but shares are struggling a bit with the $150 level. We are counting on a breakout. Currently our target is the $154.00-155.00 range. We do not want to hold over the April 26th earnings report.

Picked on April 05 at $146.51
Change since picked: + 1.23
Earnings Date 04/26/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million

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Anadarko Petrol. - APC - cls: 106.17 chg: +4.02 stop: 98.90

The strength in crude today and the rise in the oil sectors helped fuel a 3.9% rally in APC. The stock is back to trading near relative highs. Our target remains the $109.50-110 range. The P&F chart remains bullish with a breakout buy signal that points to a $127 target. We do not want to hold over the late April earnings report.

Picked on March 28 at $102.10
Change since picked: + 4.07
Earnings Date 04/28/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.5 million

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Burlington NrthSanta Fe - BNI - cls: 83.35 chg: -0.10 stop: 79.95

We warned readers to watch for a dip toward the $82.00-82.50 region and the stock complied this morning. Traders were relatively quick to buy the dip (low 82.29) and BNI was rebounding higher into the closing bell. This looks like a new bullish entry point but we would still enter new positions carefully! The rest of the market looks vulnerable. Our target is the $87.50-90.00 range. We do not want to hold over BNI's late April earnings report.

Picked on March 27 at $ 82.51
Change since picked: + 0.84
Earnings Date 04/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.1 million

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Beazer Homes - BZH - close: 66.07 chg: -1.80 stop: 64.74

The homebuilders didn't fare so well on Monday with the market chatter today partially focused on the rising interest rates and bond yields near 5%. Shares of BZH under performed its peers with a 2.6% decline. Waiting for a breakout over the $70.00 level is looking more and more like the right decision. BZH is currently headed toward technical support near its 200-dma in the $65.00 region. Aggressive traders may want to look for a bounce above $65.00 as a new entry point. We are not suggesting new plays with BZH under $70.00 at this time.

Picked on April 06 at $ 68.78
Change since picked: - 2.71
Earnings Date 04/27/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.2 million

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ConocoPhillips - COP - close: 66.70 chg: +0.74 stop: 62.45

COP rebounded higher given the strength in crude oil futures today but the bounce in COP was not very convincing. We would not be surprised by a dip back toward the $65 or $64 levels. Our target for COP is the $69.00-70.00 range.

Picked on March 29 at $ 64.80
Change since picked: + 1.89
Earnings Date 04/26/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.5 million

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Deere Co - DE - close: 80.18 change: +0.55 stop: 75.95

The good news here is that DE bounced back above the $80.00 level. Unfortunately, the rally ran out of steam once DE actually got past the $80 mark. Volume came in low today. More conservative traders may want to adjust their stops closer to the 50-dma. 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: + 2.89
Earnings Date 05/16/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.6 million

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Halliburton - HAL - close: 79.13 chg: +1.86 stop: 71.45

HAL is getting closer to our target. A strong rise in crude oil and the subsequent rally in the oil sector helped HAL post a 2.4% gain. Shares hit $79.42 midday. Our target is the $79.85-80.00 range. We are not suggesting new positions and more conservative traders may just want to exit right now to lock in gains. 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: + 3.93
Earnings Date 04/21/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 8.0 million

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Lehman Brothers - LEH - close: 150.30 change: +1.65 stop: 143.49

Good news. LEH did not produce any sort of follow through on Friday's bearish engulfing candlestick pattern. The stock bounced from the $148 level, which was our best case scenario for Monday morning. 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. More conservative traders may want to exit completely near $152.50-153.00.

Picked on March 22 at $144.61
Change since picked: + 5.69
Earnings Date 06/14/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.0 million

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Marvell Tech. - MRVL - close: 58.33 change: -1.41 stop: 54.99

Our bullish play on MRVL could be in trouble. This morning a handful of semiconductor stocks were downgraded and that put pressure on the whole group today. MRVL failed to breakout over the $60 level and its 50-dma for the second day in a row. The stock has short-term support near $58.00 but it looks headed for the $56.00-55.00 region. Watch for a bounce above $55.00 as a new bullish entry point although it may be beneficial to wait for any rebound to push MRVL back above the $58 level again. Our target is the $65.50-66.00 range. The next level of resistance appears to be $66.50-67.00.

Picked on April 06 at $ 60.18
Change since picked: - 1.85
Earnings Date 05/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.9 million

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Pantry Inc. - PTRY - close: 65.27 chg: +0.27 stop: 59.99

We see no change from our weekend update on PTRY. Our target remains unchanged in the $67.00-68.00 range although if you look at the rising channel you might want to consider aiming for the $70 region. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stops closer to our breakeven point near $61.85. 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: + 3.42
Earnings Date 04/27/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 364 thousand
 

Put Updates

Amgen Inc. - AMGN - close: 70.74 chg: -0.29 stop: 72.55

The BTK biotech index continued to sink today as did shares of AMGN. AMGN is slipping toward support near the $70.00 level in spite of some positive analyst comments today. We are suggesting a trigger at $69.90 to open bearish positions. If triggered we'll target a decline into the $65.50-65.00 range. AMGN's P&F chart is already bearish and points to a $60 target but a drop under $70 would produce a new triple-bottom breakdown sell signal. This is going to be a short-term play. We do not want to hold over the April 18th earnings report, which will be announced after the closing bell. FYI: any time you trade a biotech company there is always increased risk of some sort of unexpected headline news like a new drug success or failure that could send shares surging either direction.

Picked on April xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 04/18/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.7 million

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Apollo Group - APOL - close: 52.85 chg: +0.33 stop: 53.31

We see no change from our weekend update for APOL. 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.

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

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Express Scripts - ESRX - close: 82.96 chg: -2.43 stop: 90.01

Shares of ESRX closed with a 2.8% loss on very strong volume today after an analyst firm downgraded the stock to an "under weight". The stock hit new four-month lows and is nearing potential round-number support at the $80 level. This is a good start for our play but we need to be ready for an oversold bounce back toward the $85.00-85.50 region if the markets rally. Our short-term target is the $80.25-80.00 range. However, more aggressive traders may want to aim lower. The H&S pattern points to a target in the $73-74 range, which, coincidentally is where you'll find the simple 200-dma. We do not want to hold over the April 26th earnings report.

Picked on April 09 at $ 85.39
Change since picked: - 2.43
Earnings Date 04/26/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.6 million

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Genzyme Corp. - GENZ - close: 63.74 chg: -1.76 stop: 68.01

Our new put play in GENZ has been opened by we have a less than attractive entry price. For weeks the stock has been consolidating above support near $65.00. This morning the stock broke down under this significant support level. Unfortunately, shares gapped lower to open at $63.97. We were suggesting a trigger to buy puts at $64.90. Not that we didn't have the chance to open positions near $64.90. GENZ opened at $63.97 and then traded back to $65.13 in the first 60 seconds of trading. There was another failed rally after 10:30 A.M. this morning. Volume was pretty strong on today's breakdown, which is bearish. We are adjusting our entry points to this morning's open. Oddly we cannot find any news to account for the weakness. If anything there were some positive analyst comments on the stock today. Our target is the $61.00-60.00 range. This is going to be a short-term play because we do not want to hold over the April 19th earnings report. Currently the P&F chart points to a $56 target but a move under $65.00 would produce a new triple-bottom breakdown sell signal. FYI: any time you trade a biotech company there is always increased risk of some sort of unexpected headline news like a new drug success or failure that could send shares surging either direction.

Picked on April 10 at $ 63.97 *gap lower*
Change since picked: - 0.23
Earnings Date 04/19/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.1 million

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Reynolds American - RAI - close: 104.60 chg: -0.37 stop: 108.01

RAI continued to sink on Monday, which should confirm Friday's breakdown below support at the $105 level and its simple 50-dma. Volume on today's weakness was pretty big. It's noteworthy that the intraday chart shows an afternoon rally that failed in the $105.25-105.30 range. We are suggesting new positions here. Our target is the 100-dma near the $100.00 mark. We'll use an exit range of $100.50-100.00. We do not want to hold over the late April earnings report.

Picked on April 09 at $104.97
Change since picked: - 0.37
Earnings Date 04/27/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 637 thousand
 

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: 47.46 chg: +0.62 stop: n/a

We are not suggesting new 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: + 1.90
Earnings Date 02/15/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.4 million

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Ryland Group - RYL - close: 70.94 change: -1.03 stop: n/a

We do not see any change from our weekend update for RYL. We are not suggesting new plays. 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: - 4.25
Earnings Date 01/24/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million
 

Dropped Calls

Grainger W.W.Inc. - GWW - close: 73.45 change: -1.95 stop: 73.95

We have been stopped out of GWW at $73.95. This morning the stock was downgraded from an "out perform" to a "market perform" and investors responded negatively. The 2.58% decline was fueled by strong volume. GWW broke support at the $74.00 level and its 50-dma.

Picked on March 30 at $ 76.51
Change since picked: - 3.06
Earnings Date 04/17/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 449 thousand
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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