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Call Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 143.50 chg: +0.49 stop: 134.45

The March end-of-quarter bounce lifted AAPL to a whopping 50-cent gain. AAPL still looks decent but our bias on the market hasn't changed. The path of least resistance still appears to be down and AAPL may struggle in this sort of environment. More conservative traders will want to strongly consider taking some money off the table right here! We're not suggesting new positions. Our target is the $148.00-150.00 zone. More aggressive traders could aim higher, maybe $160ish. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $166 target.

Picked on March 23 at $133.27
Change since picked: +10.23
Earnings Date 04/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 48.5 million

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Aluminum Corp. of China - ACH - cls: 40.43 chg: -0.37 stop: 37.45

Entry point alert! The dip to $40.00 in ACH is a gift. We suggested on Sunday that more patient traders could wait for a dip in the $40.25-39.75 zone and ACH hit $39.87 today. We have two targets. Our conservative target is the $44.85-45.00 range. Our more aggressive target is the $48.50-50.00 zone.

Picked on March 30 at $ 40.80
Change since picked: - 0.37
Earnings Date 03/18/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.8 million

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Essex Prop. Trust - ESS - cls: 113.98 chg: +2.06 stop: 109.90

Bulls bought the dip in ESS on Monday and the stock added about 2%. This is definitely bullish since Friday left the stock poised to test and possibly break support near $111-110. Today's rebound would normally look like a bullish entry point to buy calls again but we are somewhat wary over the wider market and would hesitate to open new bullish positions as this could have been some quarter end window dressing. ESS is up about 17% for the quarter. Our target is the $124.50-125.00 range. Traders should expect some resistance near $120 but it will probably be temporary. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a triple-top breakout buy signal and a $142 target (it was a $132 target).

Picked on March 24 at $115.50 *triggered
Change since picked: - 1.52
Earnings Date 05/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 408 thousand

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FPL Group - FPL - close: 62.74 chg: +0.78 stop: 59.49

FPL managed a rebound on Monday, which is improvement over Friday's bearish engulfing (reversal) pattern. We are repeating some of our comments on bullish plays here about being wary of the market and hesitant to open new bullish positions.

Picked on March 27 at $ 63.55 *triggered
Change since picked: - 0.81
Earnings Date 04/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.6 million

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Fluor - FLR - close: 141.16 chg: +0.81 stop: 134.45

The last several days has seen bulls stepping in to buy shares of FLR in the $137-138 region. More aggressive traders might want to consider jumping into bullish plays early with a tight stop. We are going to stick to our plan and wait for a breakout. We're suggesting a trigger to buy calls at $146.50. The biggest challenge is controlling our risk. The stock can see huge intraday swings, which makes this a more aggressive trade. We're going to try and play it with a stop at $134.45. That might be too tight. We're setting two targets. Our first target is the $159.00-160.00 zone. Our second target is the $168.00-170.00 zone. We do not want to hold over earnings in early May.

Picked on March xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 05/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.3 million

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Intuitive Surgical - ISRG - cls: 324.35 chg: + 1.64 stop: 316.49

ISRG continues to trade sideways. The stock has been showing relative strength by resisting any serious profit taking and holding above new support near $320. We strongly suggest readers consider taking some profits off the table right here. If the market plunges lower ISRG will likely follow. Our target is the $339.00-340.00 zone. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher. The bullish target on the P&F chart just jumped from $360 to $456 on Monday.

Picked on March 23 at $300.69
Change since picked: +23.66
Earnings Date 04/17/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million

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Arcelor Mittal - MT - close: 81.80 chg: +1.46 stop: 76.95

Foreign steel stocks were up today thanks to some positive analyst comments. Shares of MT actually gapped open higher at $82.03. Our suggested entry point to buy calls was at $81.55 so this morning's gap would have triggered the play. MT's recent breakout over $80.00 is a huge buy signal on the P&F chart and today's rally just confirms the signal. Our target is the $89.00-90.00 zone. We're suggesting a stop at $76.95 but more conservative traders could try and play with a tighter stop near $78.30 instead. FYI: MT is holding an investor day on Wednesday this week.

Picked on March 31 at $ 82.03 *triggered/gap open
Change since picked: - 0.23
Earnings Date 05/15/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.1 million
 

Put Updates

Ambac Fincl. - ABK - cls: 5.75 change: -0.06 stop: n/a

ABK's decline wasn't so bad today but the trend remains bearish. The stock produced another failed rally/lower high under its one-week trendline of resistance. We are not suggesting new bearish positions in ABK. This remains a very speculative play. We will definitely hold over the April earnings if we get the chance. Previously we had been suggesting the May out-of-the money puts ($5.00 and $2.50 strikes). We may want to start thinking about taking profits as ABK nears the January lows (near $4.50).

The bounce from $5.00 is struggling.
Picked on January 27 at $ 11.54
Change since picked: - 5.79
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.9 million

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Amer.Intl.Group - AIG - cls: 43.25 chg: +0.45 stop: 45.11

AIG produced a minor bounce today but overall we don't see any changes from our weekend comments. We're suggesting puts now or on a failed rally near $45.00. Conservative traders could target $40.00. We are aiming for the bottom of the channel in the $37.00-35.00 zone. We do not want to hold over the early May earnings report.

Picked on March 30 at $ 42.80
Change since picked: + 0.45
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 26.2 million

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Capital One - COF - close: 49.22 chg: +0.23 stop: 52.55

Many of the financial stocks managed a bounce today but if you look at the intraday charts most of them look bearish with a clear failed rally midday. We remain bearish on COF and don't see any changes from our weekend comments. We do want to point out that one challenge for the bears is the P&F chart. COF has pulled back to P&F chart support, which can be a tough barrier to crack. We are suggesting puts now with COF under $50.00. Our target is the $42.00-40.00 zone. FYI: The P&F chart points to $40. The most recent data lists short interest at more than 10% of the 368 million-share float. That is slightly above average and raises the risk of a short squeeze.

Picked on March 30 at $ 48.99
Change since picked: + 0.23
Earnings Date 04/17/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.2 million

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Cytec Ind. - CYT - close: 53.85 chg: +0.59 stop: 54.75

CYT displayed some relative strength today with a bounce back from its intraday low near $52.71. The general trend is still bearish but more conservative traders might want to use a tighter stop loss. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. The $50.00 level looks like nearest support so we are targeting a drop into the $50.25-50.00 zone. More aggressive traders might want to consider aiming lower.

Picked on March 09 at $ 54.72
Change since picked: - 0.87
Earnings Date 04/17/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 601 million

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Garmin Ltd - GRMN - close: 54.01 chg: -2.07 stop: 61.51

Target achieved. GRMN released a lot of press releases today but the news wasn't enough to stop the sell-off. Shares lost another 2% and hit our target in the $54.50-54.00 zone. Actually, GRMN exceeded our target with an intraday low of $52.76. The trend is still bearish but the stock is testing its early March low so if there was going to be an oversold bounce this is where it should happen. We would expect a bounce back toward $56 or $58. Please note we're adjusting our stop loss to $60.05 and more conservative traders may want to put their stop closer to $58.00. Our second more aggressive target is the $50.50-50.00 zone. We do not want to hold over the early May earnings report.

Picked on March 27 at $ 58.97 /1st target exceeded
Change since picked: - 4.96
Earnings Date 05/01/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.9 million

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Humana Inc - HUM - cls: 44.86 chg: -0.34 stop: 48.01

The quarter end failed to lift shares of HUM, which have probably seen their worst quarter ever! The midday attempt at a rally failed and shares look poised for new relative lows. We don't see any changes from our weekend comments. Currently the P&F chart is so bearish it points to a target of zero ($0.00). We are suggesting puts at current levels or on a failed rally near $46.00. Our first target is $40.50-40.00. We'll consider an aggressive target as the play progresses.

Picked on March 30 at $ 45.20
Change since picked: - 0.34
Earnings Date 04/28/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.4 million

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MBIA Inc. - MBI - close: 12.22 change: +0.23 stop: n/a

A minor bounce for the financials lifted MBI to a 1.9% gain. The overall trend is still bearish. We don't see any changes from our prior comments. We're not suggesting new bearish positions at this time. We had been suggesting the out-of-the-money May puts (7.50, 5.00 and 2.50 strikes). We will definitely hold over the April earnings if we get the chance.

Picked on January 27 at $ 14.20
Change since picked: - 1.98
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 15.2 million

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Everest Re Group - RE - cls: 89.53 chg: +0.92 stop: 91.75

RE also joined the financials with a minor rebound on Monday. We would watch for this bounce to fail in the $90.00-91.00 zone, which readers can use as a new bearish entry point to buy puts. The weekly chart suggests there is support near $85.00 but odds look better that RE will drop back to its trendline of lower lows again. We are aiming for the $83.00-82.00 zone. The P&F chart is bearish with a $74 target. We do not want to hold over the late April earnings report.

Picked on March 30 at $ 88.61
Change since picked: + 0.92
Earnings Date 04/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 601 thousand
 

Strangle Updates

None
 

Dropped Calls

DryShips - DRYS - close: 59.91 chg: -2.40 stop: 59.85

Friday's sell-off in DRYS continued into Monday's session with a 3.8% decline. The stock broke down under support near $60.00. We could not find any news to account for the weakness but noticed similar declines in other shipping stocks. DRYS hit our stop loss at $59.85.

Picked on March 28 at $ 63.50 *triggered
Change since picked: - 3.59
Earnings Date 05/29/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.6 million
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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