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Call Updates

Arch Cap. Grp. - ACGL - cls: 57.91 chg: -0.14 stop: 55.95

It was another down day for the markets but ACGL is weathering the weakness pretty well. 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: - 0.24
Earnings Date 04/27/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 195 thousand

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Amerada Hess - AHC - close: 145.20 chg: -2.54 stop: 139.95

Oil stocks did not escape the market sell-off today. Shares of AHC started off the session stronger but failed to breakout over the $150 level for the fourth time in four sessions. If AHC breaks down under short-term support in the $144-145 region then we'd expect a retracement back to $140 and its four-week trendline of support. We're not suggesting new bullish positions until we see a decent bounce. 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: - 1.31
Earnings Date 04/26/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million

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Anadarko Petrol. - APC - cls: 105.78 chg: -0.39 stop: 98.90

APC hit a new relative high this morning at $107.94 but was unable to maintain its gains. We would watch for a another dip to the 10-dma near $104, or the markets really turn south, then look for a dip toward $102.50. 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: + 3.68
Earnings Date 04/28/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.5 million

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Burlington NrthSanta Fe - BNI - cls: 82.54 chg: -0.81 stop: 79.95

BNI is consolidating sideways above support near the $82.00 level today. We are surprised the stock was not more weak after Lehman Brothers started coverage on BNI with an "under weight" rating. The technical picture is definitely getting worse. The MACD appears to have produced a new sell signal. Odds are growing that BNI will test support near $80.00 and its 50-dma. 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: + 0.03
Earnings Date 04/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.1 million

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Beazer Homes - BZH - close: 65.45 chg: -0.62 stop: 64.74

The homebuilders are still getting beat up with bond yields rising, which is pushing pressure on mortgage rates. Shares of BZH dipped toward technical support at the 200-dma today. The stock came within three cents of hitting our stop loss. A bounce from here could be used as a new entry point but it might be a good idea to look for a new move over $67.50 before initiating new positions. More conservative traders may want to wait for a move over $70.00.

Picked on April 06 at $ 68.78
Change since picked: - 3.33
Earnings Date 04/27/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.2 million

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ConocoPhillips - COP - close: 67.36 chg: +0.66 stop: 62.45

COP displayed some relative strength today with a 0.98% gain. The stock managed to tag a new four-month high. Short-term support appears to be in the $64.50-65.50 region. Our target for COP is the $69.00-70.00 range.

Picked on March 29 at $ 64.80
Change since picked: + 2.56
Earnings Date 04/26/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.5 million

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Deere Co - DE - close: 80.95 change: +0.77 stop: 76.90 *new*

DE also displayed some relative strength today. The stock edged to a new high on above average volume. This looks bullish for the short-term future but the situation with DE could change if the major indices really start to sink so monitor your stop losses. We are adjusting our stop loss to $76.90, which is still under the rising 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: + 3.66
Earnings Date 05/16/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.6 million

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Lehman Brothers - LEH - close: 148.00 change: -2.30 stop: 143.49

The rally in LEH is struggling. The stock can't hold on to any gains over the $150 level and it looks like the stock is headed back toward the $146 region or maybe technical support at its simple 50-dma near $144.00. If LEH bounces from $148 again then great but we suspect it will dip deeper this time. Wait for the bounce before considering new positions. 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: + 3.39
Earnings Date 06/14/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.0 million

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Marvell Tech. - MRVL - close: 56.41 change: -1.92 stop: 54.99

The failed rally in the SOX semiconductor index just marked its third decline in a row. The semis were some of the worst performing tech stocks today. MRVL even under performed its peers with a 3.29% decline. We warned readers to look for a pull back toward the $56-55 region. The bad news here is that MRVL might be headed for stronger support in the $53.65-54.00 region. We're not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. More conservative traders may want to abandon this play early.

Picked on April 06 at $ 60.18
Change since picked: - 3.77
Earnings Date 05/25/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.9 million
 

Put Updates

Amgen Inc. - AMGN - close: 70.24 chg: -0.50 stop: 72.55

Be careful here! AMGN broke down under support at the $70.00 level on an intraday basis and hit our trigger to buy puts at $69.90 before rebounding. Our concern lies with the BTK biotech index. The BTK lost 1.9% and is quickly nearing potential technical support at its 200-dma, which is a prime spot to expect an oversold bounce. If the BTK does rebound it will lend some strength to AMGN and increase our chances of being stopped out. Our play is now open but we are urging caution on new positions and keep a sharp eye on the BTK index. Our target for AMGN is the $65.50 mark. The P&F chart has produced a new triple-bottom breakdown sell signal and currently points to a $60 target. 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 11 at $ 69.90
Change since picked: + 0.34
Earnings Date 04/18/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.7 million

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Apollo Group - APOL - close: 52.73 chg: -0.12 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: 83.94 chg: +0.98 stop: 90.01

ESRX did produce an oversold bounce today. We would watch for shares to find resistance in the $85.00-85.50 region. A failed rally there could be used as a new bearish entry point. 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: - 1.45
Earnings Date 04/26/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.6 million

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Genzyme Corp. - GENZ - close: 63.40 chg: -0.34 stop: 68.01

GENZ continued to sink today but it's noteworthy that the stock was rebounding from its lows into the closing bell. As we mentioned in the AMGN update we're concerned that the BTK biotech index might bounce from technical support near the 200-dma. Should this occur then GENZ is likely to bounce back toward broken support, now new resistance, in the $65.00-65.50 range. Watch for a failed rally before considering new positions. 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: - 0.57
Earnings Date 04/19/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.1 million

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Reynolds American - RAI - close: 103.63 chg: -0.97 stop: 108.01

So far so good. RAI produced another failed rally at its simple 50-dma today. Volume came in above average on the decline. 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: - 1.34
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: 47.35 chg: -0.11 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: + 1.79
Earnings Date 02/15/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.4 million

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Ryland Group - RYL - close: 69.71 change: -1.11 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: - 5.36
Earnings Date 01/24/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million
 

Dropped Calls

Halliburton - HAL - close: 76.80 chg: -2.33 stop: 71.45

Target achieved and not a moment too soon. This morning an analyst firm raised their price target on HAL and shares gapped open higher this morning at $79.60. The stock made a breakout attempt near $80 (high was $79.99) but the breakout failed and traders started taking profits. The move today produced a bearish engulfing candlestick pattern. Our target was the $79.85-80.00 range.

Picked on April 04 at $ 75.20
Change since picked: + 1.60
Earnings Date 04/21/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 8.0 million

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Pantry Inc. - PTRY - close: 66.59 chg: +1.32 stop: 59.99

Target achieved. PTRY displayed relative strength today and hit a new high on above average volume. Shares traded to $67.61 before paring its gains. Our target was the $67.00-68.00 range. We are closing the play but more aggressive traders might want to let the stock run since shares are showing so much strength. Just be sure to monitor your stop losses since even PTRY may struggle if the major averages really begin to sink.

Picked on March 26 at $ 61.85
Change since picked: + 4.74
Earnings Date 04/27/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 364 thousand
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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