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Call Updates

Carbo Ceramics - CRR - close: 47.71 change: -0.29 stop: 46.90

It was a relatively quiet day in the markets where the major averages bounced after last week's weakness. CRR failed to rebound and slipped lower. More conservative traders may want to read this as an excuse to exit early and abandon bullish positions. We suspect that CRR might bounce from the $47.00 level again so we're going to wait another day to see what happens. CRR's bullish trend is still in jeopardy. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. Our target has been the $52.00-52.50 zone.

Picked on May 11 at $ 47.45
Change since picked: + 0.26
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 303 thousand

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Harsco - HSC - close: 61.21 change: +0.12 stop: 59.95

HSC delivered a minor bounce on Tuesday. We remain cautious and we're not suggesting new bullish positions. If HSC produces a failed rally near $62.00 we would exit this play. Our target is the $64.50-65.00 range but more aggressive traders may want to aim higher.

Picked on May 01 at $ 60.38
Change since picked: + 0.83
Earnings Date 04/22/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 613 thousand

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IHOP Corp. - IHP - close: 47.88 change: +0.17 stop: 49.49

IHP is still trying to bounce from its 100-dma. We remain very cautious at this point and the play is unopened. Currently we're waiting for a breakout over resistance. If IHP doesn't show some strength soon we'll drop it. A move under $45.00 could be used as a bearish entry point to buy puts. Our suggested entry point to buy calls is at $53.75. If triggered at 53.75 our target is the $59.50-60.00 zone. The P&F chart is bullish with a $68 target. FYI: The most recent data listed short interest at more than 26% of the very small 14.8 million-share float. That's about two weeks worth of short interest so if IHP breaks out it could see a huge squeeze. Note: we have to label this a more aggressive play because the option spreads are so wide.

Picked on May xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 04/27/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 326 thousand

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iShares Russ.2000 - IWM - cls: 73.32 chg: +1.11 stop: 71.45

Small cap stocks out performed the market on Tuesday, which is a sign of improvement for the health of the market. The Russell 2000 index rebounded 1.4% and the IWM iShares added 1.5%. This might be used as a new bullish entry point but consider placing your stop loss under Friday's low (71.73). Readers may also want to consider an early exit near $74.50 as a way to scalp a couple of points and get out. If the IWM does continue to bounce we will seriously consider exiting in the $74.50-75.00 zone instead of waiting for a rally higher. Currently our target is the $77.50-80.00 range. The P&F chart is bullish with an $87 target.

Picked on April 28 at $ 72.55 *triggered
Change since picked: + 0.77
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 84.6 million

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Mechel OAO - MTL - close: 51.48 change: +2.29 stop: 47.69

MTL delivered a strong session. The stock gapped open at $50.38, pulled back to $48.40 and then rallied back toward its intraday highs. Shares ended Tuesday up 4.6%. Volume came in above average on the rebound, which is bullish. We don't see any real changes from our weekend comments. Our short-term target is the $54.00-55.00 zone. Note: The gap some of you might see on May 20th was due to a ratio change in the number of shares each U.S. traded ADR of MTL is worth.

Picked on May 25 at $ 49.19
Change since picked: + 2.29
Earnings Date 06/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.4 million

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Priceline.com - PCLN - close: 131.31 chg: -0.34 stop: 126.99

Tech-related stocks out performed the market today but the trading in PCLN is potentially bearish. The stock spiked to $135.67 shortly after the opening bell on Tuesday. That was more than enough to open our play, which had a suggested entry point to buy calls at $132.75. Unfortunately, PCLN was unable to maintain any of its gains and closed in the red. If you're feeling optimistic then the bounce from its intraday lows near $128.80 might be positive. Our target is the $139.50-140.00 zone. However, we would wait for a new move over $132.50 before considering new call positions.

Picked on May 27 at $132.75 *triggered
Change since picked: - 1.44
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million

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Molson-Coors Brewing - TAP - cls: 58.21 chg: -0.11 stop: 55.49

TAP spent the day consolidating sideways. We remain bullish with the stock above $58.00. However, traders may want to wait for a new relative high or a bounce from $57.00 as your next potential entry point to open positions. Our target is the $64.00-65.00 range. FYI: The P&F chart is bullish with a $69 target.

Picked on May 23 at $ 58.51 *triggered
Change since picked: - 0.30
Earnings Date 08/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million
 

Put Updates

Apollo Group - APOL - close: 44.84 chg: +1.41 stop: 48.01

APOL provided a strong oversold bounce (+3.2%) on Tuesday. The stock has bounced back to round-number resistance near $45.00. the stock remains short-term oversold so the bounce may not be over yet. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. Our target is the $40.50-40.00 zone.

Picked on May 18 at $ 46.71
Change since picked: - 1.87
Earnings Date 06/26/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.4 million

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3M Co. - MMM - close: 76.17 chg: +0.36 stop: 77.01

There is no change from our previous comments on MMM. We are still waiting on a breakdown below support. Our suggested trigger to buy puts is at $74.95. If triggered our first target is the $70.25-70.00 zone. Our secondary target is the $66.00-65.00 range. The P&F chart is bearish with a $69 target."

Picked on May xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.0 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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Amgen Inc. - AMGN - close: 43.04 chg: +0.66 stop: n/a

AMGN edged higher on Tuesday with a 1.5% gain. The stock is still consolidating sideways and we're expecting a real breakaway any day now. We think the question is whether or not AMGN is going to move before, during or after the upcoming ASCO conference, which lasts from May 30th through June 3rd. If you are playing the July options then you probably don't care as long as AMGN just moves! We are suggesting entry points in the $42.00-43.00 zone. We have suggested a July strangle and a slightly more aggressive June strangle. The options in the July strangle are the July $45 calls (AMQ-GI) and the July $40 puts (AMQ-SH). Our estimated cost for the July strangle was $1.65. We want to sell if either option hits $3.50. The options in the June strangle are the June $45.00 calls (AMQ-FI) and the June $40.00 puts (AMQ-RH). Our estimated cost on the June strangle was $0.56. We want to sell if either option hits $1.10 or more. June options expire in four weeks.

Picked on May 22 at $ 42.77
Change since picked: + 0.27
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.7 million

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McDonald's - MCD - close: 58.11 chg: +0.38 stop: n/a

After a terrible performance last week MCD served up a minor bounce today. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. The options we suggested were the June $62.50 calls (MCD-FZ) and the June $57.50 puts (MCD-RY). Our estimated cost was $1.10. We want to sell if either option hits $1.65 or higher. More aggressive traders may want to raise their target. Keep in mind that June options expire in four weeks and will see their premium erode more quickly.

Picked on May 18 at $ 60.53
Change since picked: - 2.42
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.5 million
 

Dropped Calls

None
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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