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Call Updates

Amazon.com - AMZN - close: 86.28 change: +2.94 stop: 79.99*new*

A market-wide rally helped fuel a 3.5% surge in shares of AMZN. The stock is trading near last week's highs and looks poised to hit our target in the $88.00-89.00 range soon. More conservative traders may want to take some money off the table right here! We are raising our stop loss to $79.99.

Picked on September 04 at $ 80.85
Change since picked: + 5.43
Earnings Date 10/23/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 9.5 million

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Intl. Bus. Mach.- IBM - cls: 117.35 chg: +1.55 stop: 111.59

IBM enjoyed a 1.3% gain after tech stocks helped lead the markets higher on Tuesday. Shares have resistance in the $118.75-119.00 zone so we're not suggesting new positions at this time. The stock has already hit our $118-120 target range. Our second, more-aggressive target is the $124.00-125.00 zone. FYI: The Point & Figure is very bullish with a $177 target.

Picked on August 26 at $113.24
Change since picked: + 4.11
Earnings Date 10/17/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 9.5 million

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Manitowoc - MTW - cls: 40.48 change: +1.72 stop: 37.48

There was no slow down in the rebound for MTW even though shares experienced a 2-for-1 stock split today. The stock closed up 4.4% and closed back above potential resistance at the $40.00 (was $80) mark. Our post-split target is the $44.00-45.00 range. Our post-split stop loss is $37.48.

Picked on September 05 at $ 40.13 *split adjusted
Change since picked: + 0.35
Earnings Date 10/31/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.0 million

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Transocean - RIG - cls: 106.95 change: -1.36 stop: 104.85

Oil stocks were generally weak this morning but the sector turned higher by afternoon. Oddly shares of RIG did not participate in the afternoon rebound and the stock closed in the red. We don't see anything in the OPEC news that would impact RIG or the oil services sector. Readers can watch for another bounce near $105 as a potential entry point for bullish positions but RIG is facing short-term resistance in the $109-110 range. Our target is the $114.00-115.00 range.

Picked on August 31 at $105.75
Change since picked: + 1.20
Earnings Date 10/31/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.3 million
 

Put Updates

Ashland Inc. - ASH - cls: 58.56 change: +1.22 stop: 61.01

There was no follow through on ASH's bearish breakdown from Monday. The widespread market strength fueled some bargain shopping and ASH rose 2.1%. The move today produced an "inside day". This is traditionally an indecision point and the stock's next move could determine its new direction. We're not that convinced that an upward breakout from an inside day will reverse the recent damage in the stock's technicals. However, if the major averages keep climbing we'd definitely avoid new bearish positions. More conservative traders could lower their stops toward $60.00 or its 10-dma near $59.25. We're keeping our stop at $61.01. We have two targets. Our first target is the $55.15-55.00 range. Our second target is the $52.65-52.50 range.

Picked on September 09 at $ 58.84
Change since picked: - 0.28
Earnings Date 10/30/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 796 thousand

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Acuity Brands - AYI - cls: 49.66 change: +1.00 stop: 54.01

We don't see any changes from our previous comments. AYI produced an oversold bounce today and even the rebound struggled with the $50.00 level this afternoon. Shares should find short-term resistance near $50.00, $52.00 and its 10-dma near $51.70. We have two targets. Our first target is the $47.75-47.50 range. Our second target is the $45.25-45.00 zone.

Picked on August 26 at $ 52.80
Change since picked: - 3.14
Earnings Date 10/04/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 536 thousand

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L-3 Comm. - LLL - cls: 98.65 change: +1.49 stop: 98.55

Traders bought the dip in LLL at the 100-dma again. The stock rose 1.5% and cleared its 50-dma. If the stock can clear resistance in the $99.50-100.00 zone then we might want to consider buying calls on it. The DFI defense index is looking positive. Currently we're waiting for a breakdown under $96.00. Our suggested trigger to buy puts is at $95.90. If triggered at $95.90 our target is the $90.75-90.00 range but we may need to adjust that as the 200-dma continues to rise.

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 10/24/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 936 thousand

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Whirlpool - WHR - cls: 90.40 change; -0.06 stop: 97.01

The relative weakness in WHR today is a good sign for the bears. The bounce attempted rolled over and the stock closed in the red poised to breakdown under round-number support at the $90.00 mark. More conservative traders could already be thinking about adjusting their stop loss lower. We have two targets. Our first target is the 87.75-87.50 range. Our second target is the $85.00-84.00 range.

Picked on September 09 at $ 92.77
Change since picked: - 2.37
Earnings Date 10/24/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 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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Bear Stearns - BSC - cls: 107.64 chg: +0.14 stop: n/a

BSC didn't make it very far even though the markets were in rally mode today. The stock's early attempt to break through the $110 level failed. Odds are good the stock will continue to trade sideways up to its earnings report. Speaking of the earnings report we have big news. BSC is not reporting on Thursday, September 13th as expected. The company is now expected to release earnings before the opening bell on Thursday, September 20th. That doesn't give us much time to play September options, which expire after September 21st. We're suggesting the October strikes instead. If BSC dips into the $106.50-103.50 range we would suggest the following: buy the October $115 call (BSC-JC) currently at $5.70 and the October $95 put (BVD-VS) currently at $3.80. Bear in mind that we have over a week and it might pay off to just wait and see where BSC is trading around September 18 or 19th before opening positions, plus we can avoid about a week's worth of time premium erosion. This should be considered a more aggressive play.

Picked on September 09 at $105.37
Change since picked: + 2.27
Earnings Date 09/20/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 8.7 million

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Diamonds - DIA - cls: 133.08 chg: +1.65 stop: n/a

We are not suggesting new positions in the DIA at this time. Our strangle play suggested using the September $137 call (DAZ-IG) and the September $127 put (DAW-UW) with an estimated cost of $2.05. We want to sell if either option rises to $3.10 or more. We have less than two weeks left before September options expire.

Picked on August 30 at $132.57
Change since picked: + 0.51
Earnings Date 00/00/00 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 20.8 million

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S&P 100 Index - OEX - cls: 687.65 chg: +9.61 stop: n/a

We're not suggesting new positions in the OEX at this time. Our strangle strategy suggested using the September 700 call (OEZ-IT) and the September 660 put (OEY-UL) with an estimated cost of $14.30. We want to sell if either option rises to $21.45 or more. Considering these prices we probably need to see a move into the $705-710 range or the $655-650 zone to be profitable.

Picked on August 30 at $680.46
Change since picked: + 7.19
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 1306 thousand
 

Dropped Calls

FTSE/Xinhau China iShares - FXI - cls: 151.18 chg: +1.83 stop: 151.51

A strong night overseas combined with strength here in the U.S. markets lifted the FXI ishares to a 1.2% gain. The ETF hit our stop loss at $151.51 ending our aggressive play. Watch for a breakout over $155 as an aggressive entry point for new bullish positions.

Picked on September 09 at $146.78
Change since picked: + 4.40
Earnings Date 00/00/00 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.2 million
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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