Option Investor
Play Updates

In Play Updates and Reviews

HAVING TROUBLE PRINTING?
Printer friendly version

Call Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 123.82 change: 1.64 stop: see details

AAPL dipped toward yesterday's low early this morning before finally bouncing higher. We do not see any changes from our previous comments on our triple play.

AAPL play #1 - directional calls

A rebound from here can be used as a new entry point to buy calls. However, the major averages are just churning sideways, up one day and down the next. If the market is down tomorrow then we might get a better entry point in AAPL closer to the $120 level. Our stop loss is under the early February low. More conservative traders may want to use a stop closer to $120. Our target is the $139.00-145.00 range.

AAPL play #2 - Credit put spread

For the credit put spread we want to wait for signs of a bounce before launching new positions. The options we suggested were buying the March $110 put and selling the March $120 put.

AAPL play #3 - Sell Naked Puts

Again, look for a bounce before launching new naked put positions. We had suggested selling the March $150 put with plans to buy it back when AAPL hits $139.00.

Picked on February 10 at $125.48
Change since picked: - 1.66
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 44.4 million

---

Atwood Oceanics - ATW - cls: 95.36 change: 1.96 stop: 87.45

Perfect! We suggested looking for a dip near $91.50 as a new entry point. ATW hit $91.43 this morning and bounced sharply. Oil's strength and ability to maintain its hold on the $100 level is a plus for the sector. More important, Transocean (RIG) reported earnings and the results were strong, fueling gains in the oil services sector. ATW ended the day with a 2% gain on above average volume. Our target is the $99.00-100.00 zone. FYI: ATW has a moderate amount of short interest, about 7.4% of the 27.6 million-share float. That is about 4 days worth of short interest.

Picked on February 17 at $ 90.37
Change since picked: 4.99
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 654 thousand

---

CF Industries - CF - close: 127.00 change: 0.42 stop: 109.49

CF took its turn to present at the basic materials conference today. The stock did not move on any news but neither did shares see much profit taking after yesterday's big gain. If you missed the entry point look for a dip back into the $122-120 zone as an alternative entry. Our target is the $138.00-140.00 zone. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $141 target. FYI: The most recent data puts short interest at 6.8% of the 53.4 million-share float.

Picked on February 19 at $121.03 *triggered/gap higher
Change since picked: 5.97
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.8 million

---

Monsanto - MON - cls: 119.05 change: 1.18 stop: 107.85

MON did suffer some profit taking this morning but investors were quick to buy the dip near $115. We were suggesting readers buy a pull back in the $116-114 zone. Now the stock is poised to breakout over resistance near $120. We have two targets. Our first target is the $127.00 level. Our second target is the $137.00-140.00 range. As we discussed earlier a move over $118 triggered a new P&F chart buy signal, which now forecasts a $157 price target. These have been very volatile stocks so readers should consider them aggressive, higher-risk plays. FYI: MON is presenting at the Morgan Stanley Basic Materials Conference 2008 on February 21st

Picked on February 12 at $118.09 *gap higher entry
Change since picked: 0.96
Earnings Date 04/03/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.1 million

---

Mosaic - MOS - close: 114.04 change: 4.49 stop: 99.45 *new*

MOS continues to surge. The stock added another 4% on top of yesterday's big gain. Shares are now above the January peak and hitting all-time highs. Volume was above average on today's move. We are adjusting our stop loss to $99.45. MOS has already hit our first target near $110 and is quickly approaching our second target in the $118.00-120.00 zone. These are very volatile stocks with a lot of intraday spikes. We would consider this a more aggressive, higher-risk play.

Picked on February 12 at $101.83 *gap higher entry
Change since picked: 12.21
Earnings Date 04/09/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.8 million

---

Nucor - NUE - close: 65.99 change: 2.10 stop: 59.95 *new*

Shares of NUE continued to rally as well. The stock added 3.2% and broke through resistance at the $65.00 level. We are adjusting our stop loss to $59.95. Our target is the $68.00-70.00 zone since the $70.00 level is likely to be significant resistance. The P&F chart is bullish with a $76 target. FYI: In the news today NUE announced its 140th consecutive cash dividend and plans to build a processing plant in Mexico.

Picked on February 17 at $ 62.01
Change since picked: 3.98
Earnings Date 04/17/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.0 million

---

Petroleo Brasileiro - PBR - cls: 120.54 chg: 2.88 stop: 109.45

Continued strength in crude oil is lifting the sector. PBR added 2.4% and closed above round-number resistance at $120.00. This looks like another bullish entry point to buy calls. We are considering a second target near $140. Currently, our target is the $128.00-130.00 range. The move over $116 has produced a new Point & Figure chart buy signal. Actually it is a quadruple-top bullish breakout buy signal with a $150 target (it was a $138 target last week). FYI: Another risk is PBR's earnings report. We can't find an earnings date and they normally report in mid February. That is a risk because we do not like to hold over an earnings report.

Picked on February 12 at $116.00 *triggered
Change since picked: 4.54
Earnings Date 02/12/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.6 million

---

Potash - POT - close: 156.00 change: 3.50 stop: 144.75 *new*

Target achieved. POT hit an intraday high of $158.30. Our first target was the $158.00-160.00 range. It was POT's turn to present at the basic materials conference today. The company continues to issue very bullish comments for their business and the industry. The stock added almost 2.3% and closed at all-time highs. It is conceivable that POT might pull back when it hits $160. Look for a dip near $152-150 as a new entry point for calls. We are raising our stop loss to 144.75. Our second, more aggressive target is the $168.00-170.00 zone. More aggressive traders may want to aim significantly higher. The Point & Figure chart is forecasting a $222 target. Again, this is a very volatile stock. Readers should consider it an aggressive, higher-risk trade.

Picked on February 12 at $147.50 *triggered
Change since picked: 8.50
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.9 million

---

Smith Intl - SII - close: 63.69 change: 0.96 stop: 58.45

Oil service stocks continued to rally thanks to a strong earnings report from RIG. Shares of SII added 1.5% and broke through its 200-dma. We are going to go ahead and add a second target. Our first target is the $64.25-65.00 range. Our second target is the $68.00-70.00 zone. We would expect SII to pull back initially when it hits $65.00 since shares will encounter additional resistance with the 50 and 100-dma. If you're looking for a new entry point wait for a dip in the $61-60.00 zone. The P&F chart for SII is very bullish with a $77 target.

Picked on February 17 at $ 60.52
Change since picked: 3.17
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.5 million

---

Yahoo! Inc. - YHOO - close: 28.83 change: -0.18 stop: n/a

While MSFT yells, "ramming speed", shares of YHOO are pulling back in fear that this deal won't get done. The stock dropped again losing 0.6%. We do not see any changes from our previous comments. This remains a very speculative (high-risk) play but there is still a strong camp that believes MSFT will up their bid. We would suggest the March $30 or March $32.50 calls.

Picked on February 17 at $ 29.66
Change since picked: - 0.83
Earnings Date 04/17/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 54 million
 

Put Updates

Ambac Fincl. - ABK - cls: 9.94 change: -0.00 stop: n/a

Wall Street continues to talk about dividing the bond insurers but the stocks aren't moving. ABK closed unchanged at $9.94. Overall we do not see any changes from our previous comments. Currently we are suggesting the May puts and a speculative out of the money March call as a hedge to protect us if a bailout deal does get done. Many on Wall Street expect something to occur this week but it could drag out to next week. The options we suggested were the May $5 or $2.50 puts and the March $20 call.

Picked on January 27 at $ 11.54
Change since picked: - 1.60
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.9 million

---

Bear Stearns - BSC - cls: 83.05 chg: 3.03 stop: 85.05

It has been a volatile three days for BSC. The stock is up and down 3% and 4% at a time. This time the whole broker-dealer sector bounced higher. We also note that this time BSC looks better positions to carry through with another rally tomorrow. More conservative traders may want to cut their losses now. We're not suggesting new positions. Our target is the $71.00-70.00 zone. Our biggest risk is that a bailout plan for the bond insurers does get done (and probably this coming week). If plan is announced and the street thinks it has a good chance of actually coming to pass then shares of BSC are bound to rally sharply due to its exposure to the sub-prime mess.

Picked on February 11 at $ 79.49 *triggered
Change since picked: 3.56
Earnings Date 03/13/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.4 million

---

FedEx - FDX - close: 89.94 change: 0.69 stop: 90.55

We just recently lowered our stop loss to $90.55 and now we're in danger of being stopped out. FDX is creeping higher and pierced resistance at its 50-dma and the $90.00 level this afternoon. The intraday chart would suggest FDX is poised for more gains tomorrow, which would see us being stopped out. Truly nimble traders could choose to buy calls above $90.50 and exit near resistance at $94.00. We are not suggesting new put plays at this time.

Picked on February 10 at $ 88.00
Change since picked: 1.94
Earnings Date 03/20/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.2 million

---

W.W.Grainger - GWW - close: 74.92 chg: 0.38 stop: 78.26 *new*

GWW hit a new relative low this morning before bouncing back into the green. We are going to try and reduce our risk by adjusting the stop loss to $78.26. Our target is the $70.75-70.00 zone.

Picked on February 10 at $ 76.65
Change since picked: - 1.73
Earnings Date 04/16/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.0 million

---

iShares DJ Financial - IYF - cls: 87.85 chg: 1.13 stop: 91.85

Everyone claims to still be worried about the financials and that the financials will probably see a lower low this year but the IYF has been trading sideways for days. Granted it has a bearish trend of lower highs but if the IYF can rally from here it might break that short-term trend (not the longer-term trend of lower highs). The sector is still very much in a longer-term bearish trend. More conservative traders will want to strongly consider adjusting their stop closer to $90.00. We're aiming for a test of the $80.00 region. Our official target is the $81.00-80.00 zone.

Picked on February 06 at $ 88.62
Change since picked: - 0.77
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million

---

MBIA Inc. - MBI - close: 12.18 change: 0.48 stop: n/a

More talk about splitting up the bond insurers is not producing a lot of excitement in the stock price. MBI did rise 4.1% but shares are essentially churning sideways near $12.00. Overall we do not see any changes from our prior comments. Currently we are suggesting the May puts and a speculative out of the money March call as a hedge to protect us if a bailout deal does get done. Many on Wall Street expect something to occur this week but it could drag out to next week. The options we suggested were the May $7.50, $5.00 or $2.50 puts. We recently added a deep out of the money call, the March $22.50 call, as a hedge in case a rescue plan does get announced and the stocks react to it. (at this point you may want to consider the March $20 call instead)

Picked on January 27 at $ 14.20
Change since picked: - 2.02
Earnings Date 01/31/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 15.2 million

---

Mohawk Ind. - MHK - cls: 74.47 chg: 1.54 stop: 78.05

Our play went from -0.77 to 0.77 with MHK's 2.1% bounce. The stock is now testing resistance near $75.00 and its 50-dma. A failed rally here can be used as a new entry point for puts. There is potential support at $70.00 but we're aiming for the $66.50-65.00 zone near its January 2008 bottom.

Picked on February 14 at $ 73.70
Change since picked: 0.77
Earnings Date 02/13/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 907 thousand

---

Myriad Genetics - MYGN - cls: 37.78 chg: -0.10 stop: 40.51

Shares of MYGN traded sideways in a 35-cent range all day long. Lack of a bounce higher with the rest of the market this afternoon is bearish. Our MYGN target is the $36.00-35.00 range. More aggressive traders may want to aim lower. The Point & Figure chart is bearish with a $34 target. FYI: We always consider a biotech stocks to be a more aggressive, higher risk play because you never know when an FDA decision will be released or some clinical trial info will come out that could send the stock moving sharply either direction.

Picked on February 07 at $ 39.75 *triggered
Change since picked: - 1.97
Earnings Date 02/05/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 801 thousand

---

Sears Holding - SHLD - cls: 98.48 chg: 2.17 stop: 100.25

SHLD tagged the $95.00 mark this morning and bounced. The stock ended with a 2.2% gain after failing to breakout over $100.00. This may prove to be yet another entry point to buy puts but we are going to stick to our plan. Currently our official entry point to buy puts is at $94.75. If triggered at $94.75 our target is the $86.00-85.00 range. We do not want to hold over the end of February (now confirmed) earnings report.

Picked on February xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: 0.00
Earnings Date 02/28/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.0 million

---

Simon Properties - SPG - cls: 84.97 chg: 1.60 stop: 90.15

SPG is trying to bounce. Look for another failed rally near $86.00 as a potential entry point. Our target is the $76.00-75.00 range.

Picked on February 07 at $ 84.39 *triggered
Change since picked: 0.58
Earnings Date 02/01/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.7 million

---

Legacy Vulcan - VMC - cls: 68.75 chg: 2.25 stop: 70.86

VMC produced an impressive 3.3% bounce today but we warned readers that the stock was volatile. Wait for a failed rally near $70.00 before considering new puts. Our target is the $60.50-60.00 zone. The stop loss is a little bit wider than we would like but VMC can see some big $3-$4 swings intraday so readers should consider this an aggressive, higher-risk play.

Picked on February 17 at $ 66.64
Change since picked: 2.11
Earnings Date 04/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.1 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.)

---

CROCS Inc. - CROX - close: 27.44 chg: -4.64 stop: n/a

Concerns over rising inventory is what really spooked investors after CROX reported earnings last night. The stock gapped open lower and lost 14.4% by the closing bell. We are not suggesting new strangles at this time. The options we had suggested were the March $40 calls (CQJ-CH) and the March $25 puts (CQJ-OE). Our estimated cost was $2.50 and we wanted to sell if either option hits $4.25 or higher.

Picked on February 17 at $ 33.43
Change since picked: - 5.99
Earnings Date 02/19/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.2 million
 

Dropped Calls

Boeing - BA - close: 84.00 change: -1.37 stop: 83.99

Our new call play in BA did not last long. We added it last night but warned readers that if the major averages were weak today we would probably get stopped out. The morning market decline was enough for BA to hit our stop loss at $83.99. Shares of BA continued to under perform all day long and did not bounce back like most of the market. It is possible that investors are reacting negatively to news that BA's aircraft rival, Airbus, said that they expect new orders in 2008 to be half of what they sold last year.

Picked on February 19 at $ 85.37
Change since picked: - 1.37
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.5 million
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

Play Update Archives