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Call Updates

Aluminum Corp. of China - ACH - cls: 43.90 chg: +3.47 stop: 39.85*new*

The U.S. traded shares of ACH turned in a very big day. The stock rallied more than 8.5% and did so on above average volume. The move has lifted ACH past its 50-dma again. Plus, the MACD on the daily chart has produced a new buy signal. The intraday high was $43.96. We are raising our stop loss to $39.85. 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: + 3.10
Earnings Date 03/18/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.8 million

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Essex Prop. Trust - ESS - cls: 121.48 chg: +7.50 stop: 109.90

REIT stocks were big winners today. Shares of ESS soared more than 6.5% to new five-month highs. The close over $117.50 and over $120 is very bullish. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. Given the big move today more conservative traders might want to take some early profits now. Our target is the $124.50-125.00 range. 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: + 5.98
Earnings Date 05/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 408 thousand

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FPL Group - FPL - close: 64.89 chg: +2.15 stop: 59.49

Alternative energy plays seem to be drawing more attention lately. Shares of FPL added 3.4% and broke through its 50-dma and 200-dma (again). Volume was only ho-hum but the short-term trend looks good. A dip back to $64.00 might be a new entry point. We would expect some overhead resistance at its 100-dma near $66. Our target is the $67.00-67.50 zone.

Picked on March 27 at $ 63.55 *triggered
Change since picked: + 1.34
Earnings Date 04/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.6 million

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Fluor - FLR - close: 148.78 chg: +7.62 stop: 136.45 *new*

Entry point alert on FLR. The market's strength helped power FLR to a 5.3% gain. Today's move is a breakout over resistance in the $145-146 zone plus it is a breakout over FLR's five-month trendline of lower highs. Our suggested entry point to buy calls was at $146.50 so the play is now open. If you don't want to chase it here then consider waiting for a dip back toward $146-145. Please note we're adjusting the stop loss to $136.45. 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 April 01 at $146.50 *triggered
Change since picked: + 2.28
Earnings Date 05/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.3 million

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Arcelor Mittal - MT - close: 82.41 chg: +0.61 stop: 76.95

MT actually under performed the market today. Shares gapped open lower but traders bought the dip near support around $80.00 and the stock eventually posted another gain. We remain bullish on MT in spite of this morning's mysterious weakness. 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: + 0.38
Earnings Date 05/15/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.1 million
 

Put Updates

Ambac Fincl. - ABK - cls: 6.11 change: +0.36 stop: n/a

The financials were the market's best performing sector with an 8.5% jump in the broker-dealers and an 8.1% jump in the BIX banking index. Shares of ABK rose 6.2% in what was probably just another day or short covering. 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: - 5.43
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.9 million

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Garmin Ltd - GRMN - close: 54.85 chg: +0.84 stop: 60.05

One of the biggest rally day of the year was not enough to lift GRMN more than 1.5%. That should tell you that there isn't a lot of buying interest in the stock right now. That doesn't necessarily mean the bounce is over but buyers are not very enthusiastic to buy the "dip". The stock has already hit our initial target in the $54.50-54.00 zone. We would expect a bounce back toward $56 or $58. 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: - 4.12
Earnings Date 05/01/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.9 million

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Humana Inc - HUM - cls: 47.00 chg: +2.14 stop: 48.01

HUM produced a pretty good bounce today with a 4.7% gain albeit on below average volume. We've seen a couple of news items, one on Monday and another today, mentioning that HUM's Chairman bought 10,000 shares of HUM at $45.76 recently. While that's normally a bullish sign, one of inside management buying shares with their own money, it doesn't automatically make the stock a buy. We would be careful here. It wouldn't take much to push HUM to our stop loss at $48.01. 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: + 1.80
Earnings Date 04/28/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.4 million

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MBIA Inc. - MBI - close: 13.48 change: +1.26 stop: n/a

The market's short-squeeze fueled rally on Tuesday had a big impact on MBI. The stock gapped open at $12.67 and closed with a 10.3% gain. Volume rose to 8.5 million shares. 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: - 0.72
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 15.2 million
 

Strangle Updates

None
 

Dropped Calls

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 149.53 chg: +6.03 stop: 134.45

Target achieved. The market-wide rally fueled a 4.2% gain in shares of AAPL. The stock surged toward resistance near $150 and its 200-dma. The intraday high was $149.66. Our target was the $148.00-150.00 zone. News that there was a shortage of iPhones could have been fueling the move too. AAPL is selling out even as the 3G iphone approaches.

Picked on March 23 at $133.27 /target achieved $148.00
Change since picked: +16.26
Earnings Date 04/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 48.5 million

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Intuitive Surgical - ISRG - cls: 346.94 chg: +22.59 stop: 316.49

Target exceeded! One of today's biggest winners was ISRG. The stock rallied more than 22 points for a 6.9% gain on above average volume. The intraday high was $347.93. Our target was only in the $339.00-340.00 zone. Shares of ISRG are challenging round-number psychological resistance near $350 and are now within striking distance of its December highs near $359. We would keep ISRG on your personal watch list for another entry point. The P&F chart is very bullish with a $456 target.

Picked on March 23 at $300.69 *target $339 exceeded (347.93)
Change since picked: +46.25
Earnings Date 04/17/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million
 

Dropped Puts

Amer.Intl.Group - AIG - cls: 47.00 chg: +3.75 stop: 45.11

The massive rally and short covering in the financials today was not lost on shares of AIG. The stock added more than 8.6% by the day's end. Shares opened at $44.51 and quickly rallied through our stop loss at $45.11 closing the play. The overall trend is still bearish and AIG still has resistance at its 50-dma but the bears could be in trouble here.

Picked on March 30 at $ 42.80 /stopped 45.11
Change since picked: + 4.20
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 26.2 million

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Capital One - COF - close: 53.48 chg: +4.26 stop: 52.55

Bears ran for cover in shares of COF as well. The stock surged 8.6% and quickly hit our stop loss at $52.55 closing the play. If the rally continues COF will likely encounter resistance near $57.50.

Picked on March 30 at $ 48.99 /stopped 52.55
Change since picked: + 4.49
Earnings Date 04/17/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.2 million

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Cytec Ind. - CYT - close: 55.97 chg: +2.12 stop: 54.75

The market's sudden strength this morning pushed CYT to gap open at $54.82. Our stop loss was at $54.75 so we should have been taken out at the open. CYT dipped to $53.73 before rebounding again. This upward move might actually have some legs given CYT's sideways consolidation over the last several days.

Picked on March 09 at $ 54.72 /stopped out 54.82 gap open
Change since picked: + 1.25
Earnings Date 04/17/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 601 million

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Everest Re Group - RE - cls: 93.71 chg: +4.18 stop: 91.75

RE is another insurance stock that soared on strength (a.k.a. short covering) in the financial sector today. RE gapped open at $90.53 and closed with a 4.6% gain. The stock traded through our stop loss at $91.75 closing the play. The longer-term trend is still bearish but the bounce could carry RE to the $95-96 zone or even the $100 region before running out of steam.

Picked on March 30 at $ 88.61 /stopped out 91.75
Change since picked: + 5.10
Earnings Date 04/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 601 thousand
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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