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Call Updates

Ashland Inc. - ASH - close: 53.10 change: -0.54 stop: 49.85

ASH did pull back today but someone put a floor under the stock at $52.55. Traders bought the dip at that level several times. The trend remains bullish for ASH. We only have five trading days left before ASH reports earnings on April 29th. We do not want to hold over the report. Due to our declining time we are adjusting the target to $56.00-58.00. More conservative traders might want to start taking profits when ASH hits $55.00. If the market dips next week watch for ASH to find short-term support near its 10-dma or the $52.00 level.

Picked on April 06 at $ 51.25
Change since picked: + 1.85
Earnings Date 04/29/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 774 thousand

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Alliant Tech - ATK - close: 107.32 chg: +0.54 stop: 104.85

Our new call play in ATK is now open. Over the weekend we suggested readers buy calls on a dip in the $106.00-105.50 zone. ATK dipped to $105.56 this morning and bounced back into the green. Shares look poised to move higher and we would still consider new positions here but take note that ATK needs to rally past resistance at the 100-dma and 200-dma directly overhead. We have two targets. Our short-term, immediate target is $109.90. Our second, more aggressive target is the $114.00-115.00 zone. Keep in mind that Lockheed Martin (LMT) another defense company reports earnings on April 22nd and their results could strongly influence ATK's share price. FYI: A move over $110 would reverse the Point & Figure chart into a new buy signal. We do not want to hold over the May 8th earnings report.

Picked on April 21 at $106.00 *triggered
Change since picked: + 1.32
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 246 thousand

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General Cable - BGC - close: 72.59 chg: +1.22 stop: 64.99

We are still on the sidelines with BGC. We suggested readers buy the dip in the $68.50-67.50 zone. Looks like bulls jumped in early and bought the dip at $69.76 this morning. We still don't want to chase it and will wait for BGC to pull back toward our suggested entry. If triggered our target is the $74.00-75.00 range. We do not want to hold over the April 29th earnings report so that's not a lot of time. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with an $83 target.

Picked on April xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 04/29/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 841 thousand

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CH Robinson Worldwide- CHRW - cls: 59.24 chg: -0.97 stop: 57.74

Transport stocks slipped on Monday as crude oil hit another new high. CHRW dipped to $58.66 before paring its losses. Tomorrow is our last day for this play as we plan to exit at the closing bell on Tuesday to avoid holding over earnings due out after the close. Our target is the $62.00-62.50 zone.

Picked on April 15 at $ 58.25
Change since picked: + 0.99
Earnings Date 04/22/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.9 million

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DryShips Inc. - DRYS - close: 74.61 chg: -0.91 stop: 69.75

Most of the dry-bulk carriers were up today but DRYS reversed its gains after hitting $77.97 intraday. The relative weakness is worrisome and the stock looks like it could trade down toward $72.00 soon. Wait for signs of a bounce before considering new positions. Our target is the $79.00-80.00 zone.

Picked on April 15 at $ 70.32
Change since picked: + 4.29
Earnings Date 05/29/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.2 million

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Express Scripts - ESRX - close: 67.82 chg: -0.94 stop: 64.95

Our new play in ESRX is open. We suggested readers buy calls on a dip into the $67.50-66.50 zone. ESRX hit $67.23 this morning. The company is due to report earnings on April 29th and we don't want to hold over the announcement so that's not a lot of time. Our target is the $72.50 mark. The P&F chart is bullish with an $81 target.

Picked on April 21 at $ 67.50 *triggered
Change since picked: + 0.32
Earnings Date 04/29/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.1 million

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Fluor - FLR - close: 161.54 chg: +1.44 stop: 149.85

It was a decent day for FLR. The stock out performed the market with a 0.8% gain albeit on low volume. If you haven't taken any profits yet we suggest you do so now. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. The stock has already hit our target at the $159.00 level. Our second target is the $168.00-170.00 zone. We do not want to hold over earnings in early May. FYI: The P&F chart is bullish with a $184 target.

Picked on April 01 at $146.50 *triggered /1st target hit $159
Change since picked: +15.04
Earnings Date 05/12/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.3 million

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CurrencyShares Euro - FXE - cls: 159.43 chg: +1.09 stop: 156.90

The U.S. dollar slips and the FXE gaps higher this morning. The Euro looks poised to break the $160 level. We want to use a tight stop. This is a momentum play and some of the momentum indicators are starting to falter. A rebound back over $159 would look like a new entry point to buy calls. Our target is the $164.00-165.00 range. Our time frame is three to five weeks.

Picked on April 13 at $158.57
Change since picked: + 0.86
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 307 thousand

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Hovnanian - HOV - close: 11.62 chg: -0.19 stop: 10.45

The homebuilders are struggling to maintain any sort of bullish momentum. HOV spiked lower at the open but traders bought the dip at $11.09. Shares slowly crawled higher throughout the rest of the session but it wasn't very convincing. We suggested buying a dip near $11.00 and we got it but readers might want to use a tighter stop loss. Our target is the $13.50-14.00 zone. Our second, more aggressive target is the $14.75-15.00 zone.

Picked on April 16 at $ 11.86
Change since picked: - 0.24
Earnings Date 05/29/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.1 million

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Intl.Bus.Mach. - IBM - cls: 124.35 chg: -0.05 stop: 118.49

We were expecting IBM to dip after last week's big gains. The stock did turn lower this morning but traders bought it at $122 and the stock rebounded to close almost unchanged. We are still suggesting that readers buy a dip in the $120.75-120.00 zone. If triggered we'll have two targets. Our first target is the $124.90-125.00 range. Our second target is the $128.00-130.00 zone.

Picked on April xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 04/16/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 8.8 million

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Joy Global - JOYG - close: 75.90 chg: -0.81 stop: 69.95

After Friday's huge rally in JOYG we had to expect some profit taking today. The stock gave back 1% and bounced from its intraday lows. More conservative traders may want to pull a little money off the table now. We are not suggesting new calls at current levels. Our target is the $79.50-80.00 range. The P&F chart is already bullish with an $88 target.

Picked on April 16 at $ 72.55 *triggered
Change since picked: + 3.35
Earnings Date 05/29/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.3 million

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Ultra Petrol. - UPL - close: 87.06 chg: +2.05 stop: 81.50*new*

UPL continues to soar hitting new highs today. Shares posted a 2.4% gain. We are concerned that crude oil is going to sell-off following futures expiration, which occurs after Tuesday's closing bell. Therefore we're suggesting readers exit UPL at the closing bell on Tuesday even if shares do not hit our target in the $88.50-90.00 zone. We're adjusting our stop to $81.50.

Picked on April 10 at $ 81.50
Change since picked: + 5.56
Earnings Date 05/01/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.4 million

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ExxonMobil - XOM - cls: 94.26 chg: +0.26 stop: 91.95 *new*

We are concerned that XOM could see a sell-off along with crude oil starting on Wednesday. Therefore we are planning to close the play on Tuesday at the closing bell even if XOM does not hit our target at $94.85. Our new stop loss is $91.95.

Picked on April 15 at $ 90.80
Change since picked: + 3.46
Earnings Date 05/01/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 26.2 million
 

Put Updates

Ambac Fincl. - ABK - cls: 5.94 change: -0.04 stop: n/a

One more day to go! ABK is due to report earnings on Wednesday morning. We expect extremely bad news. We're probably not the only ones and that sets up for a potential upside surprise and lots of short covering. If you don't want to hold over earnings tomorrow is your last day to exit. To protect ourselves we are suggesting readers buy the May $10.00 calls (GIY-EB) currently trading at $0.15. It's cheap protection should ABK really shock Wall Street with some sort of good news. We are not suggesting new bearish positions in ABK. This remains a very speculative play. Previously we had been suggesting the May out-of-the money puts ($5.00 and $2.50 strikes).

Picked on January 27 at $ 11.54
Change since picked: - 5.60
Earnings Date 04/23/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.9 million

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Capital One - COF - close: 47.86 chg: +0.65 stop: 51.05

COF surprisingly showed some relative strength today. We can't fathom why someone would buy the stock given the state of the consumer so we're sticking with our bearish bias. Our target is the $41.50-40.00 zone. The Point & Figure chart is bearish with a $38 target.

Picked on April 13 at $ 48.30
Change since picked: - 0.44
Earnings Date 04/17/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 9.0 million

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Fannie Mae - FNM - close: 27.92 chg: -0.63 stop: 30.26

It looks like the rebound in FNM has failed at the $30.00 level making today's decline a new entry point for bears. Readers might want to wait for a drop under $27.50 before buying puts. FNM has already exceeded our target at the $25.25 mark. Our second target is the $21.00-20.00 zone.

Picked on April 08 at $ 29.00 /1st target exceeded 25.25
Change since picked: - 1.08
Earnings Date 05/27/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 26.5 million

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Humana Inc - HUM - cls: 43.27 chg: -0.23 stop: 45.20

The next couple of days could see some real volatility for the healthcare stocks. UNH is due to report earnings tomorrow before the opening bell. Wall Street is looking for a profit of $0.79 from UNH. Wednesday also brings more earnings news with WLP reporting before the opening bell with estimates of $1.19 a share. HUM doesn't report until next week but its stock will definitely be influenced by results from its rivals. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. If the stock closes over $44.00 we'll want to consider an early exit. Our target is the $40.50-40.00 zone. More aggressive traders may want to aim lower. Currently the P&F chart is so bearish it points to a target of zero ($0.00).

Picked on March 30 at $ 45.20
Change since picked: - 1.93
Earnings Date 04/28/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.4 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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Goldman Sachs - GS - cls: 180.40 chg: +0.47 stop: n/a

The rally in financial stocks stalled and GS was no exception. We are not suggesting new strangles at this time. The options we suggested for this strangle were the May $190 calls (GPY-ER) and the May $160 puts (GPY-QL). Our estimated cost was $8.70. We want to sell if either option trades at $14.50 or higher.

Picked on April 06 at $175.40
Change since picked: + 5.00
Earnings Date 06/12/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 14.5 million

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Merrill Lynch - MER - cls: 46.41 chg: -0.94 stop: n/a

MER suffered some profit taking after last week's rebound. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. The options we listed in the May strangle were the May $50 calls (MER-EJ) and the May $32.50 puts (MER-QA). Our estimated cost was $1.76 and we want to sell if either option hits $3.00 or more.

Picked on April 15 at $ 43.34
Change since picked: + 3.07
Earnings Date 04/17/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 30.6 million
 

Dropped Calls

CONSOL Energy - CNX - cls: 88.10 chg: +1.85 stop: 79.95

Target achieved. Coal producer ACI reported earnings today that were much better than expected. The news launched the entire sector higher. Shares of CNX gapped open higher at $87.89 and rallied to $89.70 before paring its gains. Our target was the $88.00-90.00 zone.

Picked on April 15 at $ 80.55 /target hit $88.00 (89.70 high)
Change since picked: + 7.55
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.7 million

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Lincoln Elec. - LECO - cls: 74.40 chg: +1.27 stop: 70.90

Our play in LECO didn't really pan out the way we planned due to the bad entry point on the gap higher April 7th. However, the recent rally has given us a chance to minimize or neutralize any losses. We announced over the weekend our plan to exit on Monday at the close.

Picked on April 07 at $ 73.73 *triggered/gap higher
Change since picked: + 0.67
Earnings Date 04/23/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 233 thousand

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United States Oil - USO - close: 94.38 chg: +0.59 stop: 89.95

Over the weekend we announced a strategy change in USO and told readers were going to exit the USO on Monday at the closing bell. Crude oil could see a huge sell-off following futures expiration come Wednesday. USO had already hit our target at $92.50 and now we're closing the play at $94.38.

Picked on April 07 at $ 86.49 *gap higher /1st target hit
Change since picked: + 7.89
Earnings Date 00/00/00 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.4 million
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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