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Call Updates

Dominion - D - close: 77.72 change: +0.49 stop: 74.99 *new*

The major market averages continue to sink and that has investor turning defensive. D is both an electric utility and energy play that offers a decent dividend (about 3.5% right now). This seems to be good enough to draw some buying interest. The stock broke out above significant resistance at the $76.00 level on Wednesday and hasn't looked back. The bullish breakout has also produced a bullish breakout buy signal on the Point & Figure chart that now points to a $90 target. We would probably wait and watch for a pull back toward the $77.00-76.50 region before considering new call option plays. Our target is the $81.00-82.00 range although more conservative types may want to exit near $80.00. Please note that we do not want to hold over D's early August earnings report, which gives us about eight trading days. We're also raising our stop loss to $74.99.

Suggested Options:
We're not suggesting new call plays at this moment but if D dips toward support then we'd choose the August calls.

Picked on July 17 at $ 76.05
Change since picked: + 1.67
Earnings Date 08/03/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million
 

Put Updates

Alcon Inc. - ACL - close: 93.25 chg: -0.25 stop: 96.51 *new*

We warned readers to expect a bounce in ACL on Friday and the stock did bounce but fortunately the upward momentum faded a lot sooner than expected. ACL failed just above the $95 level and the trend remains bearish even though the technical indicators suggest that ACL is oversold. We have run out of time on this play. ACL is due to report earnings on Monday, July 24th after the market's close. It is our plan to exit near the closing bell to avoid holding over the report. Please note that we're tightening our stop loss to $96.51. More conservative traders may want to put their stop above the 10-dma around 95.70.

Suggested Options:
Time is up. We're planning to exit on Monday near the close.

Picked on July 13 at $ 95.61
Change since picked: - 2.36
Earnings Date 07/24/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 805 thousand

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Air Products Chem. - APD - cls: 61.41 chg: -0.31 stop: 64.01

We are running out of time with our play in APD. The company is due to report earnings on Wednesday, July 26th before the market's opening bell. We do not want to hold over the report so we're planning to exit on Tuesday afternoon at the close. Everything else appears to be in our favor. The stock produced a bearish reversal this past week with the failed rally under $64 and its 50-dma. Technicals remain bearish. Our target is the $59.00-58.00 range.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new option positions in APD at this time.

Picked on July 09 at $ 62.95
Change since picked: - 1.54
Earnings Date 07/26/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.2 million

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Apollo Group - APOL - close: 46.91 chg: +0.28 stop: 50.05

Shares of APOL almost hit our target in the $45.50-45.00 range on Friday with its morning dip to $45.74. Traders bought the initial dip but the oversold bounce faded near the $48 level and under its 10-dma. We remain bearish but we're not suggesting new positions at this time. The P&F chart's bearish target has moved again, this time to $36. FYI: Considering the long-term bearish trend in APOL more aggressive traders may want to aim for the $40 region.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new put positions in APOL at this time.

Picked on July 09 at $ 49.92
Change since picked: - 3.01
Earnings Date 09/19/06 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.4 million

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IDEXX Labs - IDXX - close: 74.24 chg: -0.61 stop: 76.05

We are down to our last four days for this bearish play in IDXX. Fortunately the oversold bounce has struggled to breakout past the $75 level and its 200-dma directly overhead. It's also a good sign that IDXX produced a small bearish engulfing candlestick pattern on Friday, which suggest the stock is headed lower next week. We are not suggesting new plays and we're choosing to adjust our aggressive target from $72.00 to $72.50. Our conservative target at $75.25 has already been hit. We do not want to hold over the earnings report on Friday, July 28th.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new put positions in IDXX at this time.

Picked on June 12 at $ 77.95
Change since picked: - 3.71
Earnings Date 07/28/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 144 thousand

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Jacobs Engineering - JEC - cls: 69.90 chg: -1.87 stop: 74.01*new*

JEC almost hit our target at the $69.00 mark with Friday's low of $69.30. We're almost out of time on this play. JEC is due to report earnings on Tuesday, July 25th before the opening bell. We're going to exit on Monday afternoon at the close to avoid holding over the report but that's assuming JEC doesn't hit our target at $69.00 first. Please note that we're adjusting the stop loss to $74.01

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new put positions in JEC at this time.

Picked on July 16 at $ 73.75
Change since picked: - 3.85
Earnings Date 07/25/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 583 thousand

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Manpower Inc. - MAN - close: 58.38 chg: -1.04 stop: 62.25

MAN is a new put play candidate from the Thursday night newsletter. The stock lost another 1.75% on Friday with above average volume, which is bearish. The only changes we see is a new bearish P&F target of $48 and that traders might want to wait for a bounce back towards $60 as a new entry point. Here's a copy of what we said on Thursday:

In the last two days MAN has produced a failed rally under its 50-dma and a breakdown under support at the $60.00 level. Both events occurred on big volume. The early strength on Wednesday was probably fueled by MAN's recent earnings report, which came in better than expected. Unfortunately, the buying spree was short lived. Now the stock is breaking down and the next level of support looks like the $55.00 region with its rising 200-dma (54.77). We are suggesting that readers buy puts with MAN under $60.00. Our target is the $55.50-55.00 range. The Point & Figure chart currently points to a $52 target.

Suggested Options:
We are suggesting the August and September puts. You choose which month and strike best suits your trading style. (currently there are no August 55 puts available)

BUY PUT AUG 60.00 MAN-TL open interest=115 current ask $3.00

BUY PUT SEP 60.00 MAN-UL open interest=173 current ask $3.80
BUY PUT SEP 55.00 MAN-UK open interest= 96 current ask $1.70

Picked on July 20 at $ 59.42
Change since picked: - 1.04
Earnings Date 07/19/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.0 million


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Panera Bread - PNRA - close: 57.69 chg: -0.56 stop: 60.35 *new*

It seems to be a battle for every inch but the bears are slowly dragging PNRA lower. The stock has hit a series of consecutive lows over the last week and now shares look oversold and due for a bounce. The relative weakness is encouraging but we're running out of time. PNRA is due to report earnings on July 25th after the market's close. As you already know we don't want to hold over the report so we're going to exit on Tuesday afternoon near the closing bell. We want to reduce our risk so we're lowering the stop loss to $60.35, which is above Thursday's high. Our target is the $55.50 mark.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new put positions in PNRA at this time.

Picked on July 18 at $ 59.49
Change since picked: - 1.80
Earnings Date 07/25/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 494 thousand

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Union Pacific - UNP - close: 83.04 chg: -0.97 stop: 87.01

Our play in UNP is now open. UNP is a new bearish put candidate from the Thursday night newsletter. Shares continued to sell-off and the stock hit our trigger to buy puts at $83.75. We do not see any changes to our play description except that traders might want to look for a bounce back toward $84-85 as a new entry point to buy puts (and that the P&F chart's bearish target has dropped from $74 to $70). Here's a copy of what we said on Thursday:

The gap higher in shares of UNP Thursday morning was probably due to the company's earnings report. UNP reported earnings that came in 11 cents above analysts' estimates. Yet the rally reversed right at the $90.00 level and under its 50-dma. The selling continued throughout the session and UNP eventually broke down under technical support at its 200-dma with volume coming in way above the average. Thursday's move also produced a failed rally, a breakdown of support, and a new sell signal on the P&F chart, which now points to a $74 target. Normally you want to see some confirmation or follow through after a stock produces a big bearish engulfing candlestick pattern like UNP did on Thursday. That's why we're suggesting a trigger to buy puts at $83.75, which is underneath the June low. If triggered we're suggesting two targets. Our conservative target will be the $80.10 level. Our more aggressive target will be the $77.65 mark.

Suggested Options:
We are suggesting the August puts. Septembers are not available yet but if you're interested Novembers are available.

BUY PUT AUG 85.00 UNP-TQ open interest=1933 current ask $3.70
BUY PUT AUG 80.00 UNP-TP open interest= 565 current ask $1.40

Picked on July 21 at $ 83.75
Change since picked: - 0.71
Earnings Date 07/20/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.7 million
 

Strangle Updates

None
 

Dropped Calls

Fortune Brands - FO - close: 70.69 change: -0.99 stop: 69.74

We are throwing in the towel on FO and suggesting that traders exit immediately. The stock has been unable to breakout past the $73 region and its 50-dma. Volume on Friday's bearish reversal was above average and the technical picture is turning bearish. Shares of FO do still have short-term support at the $70 level so more aggressive traders may want to stick it out. However, we believe that if the major U.S. indices continue to slide that FO will breakdown. Meanwhile the company is due to report earnings on July 27th.

Picked on July 06 at $ 71.30
Change since picked: - 0.61
Earnings Date 07/27/06 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 674 thousand
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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