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Call Updates

Carbo Ceramics - CRR - close: 47.69 change: -0.02 stop: 46.90

Shares of CRR are still not moving much. We're growing more cautious on the stock. If we could make a meaningful change in our stop loss we would but the intraday low today was $47.30. More conservative traders may just want to abandon ship. We're not suggesting new positions. Our target has been the $52.00-52.50 zone.

Picked on May 11 at $ 47.45
Change since picked: + 0.24
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 303 thousand

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Harsco - HSC - close: 61.79 change: +0.58 stop: 59.95

After two days of consolidating near $60.50 we're starting to see a rebound in HSC. This could be used as a new bullish entry point but you may want to raise your stop loss toward today's low of $60.45. If HSC fails at $62.00 we'll exit early. 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: + 1.41
Earnings Date 04/22/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 613 thousand

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iShares Russ.2000 - IWM - cls: 73.66 chg: +0.34 stop: 71.45

Small caps actually out performed the large cap stocks. The RUT added 0.55%. Meanwhile the IWM closed near its highs for the session and appears to be breaking out from a bull flag pattern, which is definitely positive for the market. Readers may 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: + 1.11
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 84.6 million

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Martin Marietta - MLM - cls: 117.77 chg: -0.38 stop: 114.95

In spite of today's negative close the action in MLM still looks bullish. We would continue to buy calls at current levels. Our target is the $123.50-124.00 zone. This should be a quick, short-term move. If MLM doesn't continue to bounce in the next day or two we'll be quick to exit. FYI: The P&F chart is bullish with a $158 target.

Picked on May 27 at $118.15
Change since picked: - 0.38
Earnings Date 05/06/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 561 thousand

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Priceline.com - PCLN - close: 134.13 chg: +2.82 stop: 126.99

PCLN out performed the broader market today. Traders bought the dip this morning and the rally began to pick up speed this afternoon. By the closing bell PCLN was up 2.1%. We see this as a new entry point to buy calls. Yesterday we were suggesting a move over $132.50 as a new entry point. Our target is the $139.50-140.00 zone.

Picked on May 27 at $132.75 *triggered
Change since picked: + 1.38
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million

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POSCO - PKX - close: 134.60 change: +1.34 stop: 129.75

PKX was kind enough to trade sideways for most of the session, allowing us an entry point, before turning higher into the closing bell. We remain bullish here. Our target is the $143.00-145.00 range. This is an aggressive higher-risk play. PKX tends to gap open every morning as it adjusts to trade in Korea. Plus, the option spreads tend to be a little wide.

Picked on May 27 at $133.26
Change since picked: + 1.34
Earnings Date 07/14/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 733 thousand

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Molson-Coors Brewing - TAP - cls: 57.26 chg: -0.75 stop: 55.49

TAP displayed relative weakness today. It could have been a knee-jerk reaction to negative comments out of Coca-Cola about their sales trends. On a positive note traders bought the dip in TAP near its short-term trend of higher lows. This looks like a new entry point to buy calls but if you're feeling cautious then raise your stop loss toward $56.00 or today's low (56.48). 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: - 1.25
Earnings Date 08/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million
 

Put Updates

Apollo Group - APOL - close: 45.57 chg: +0.73 stop: 48.01

APOL continued to bounce as we suspected it might. The close above $45.00 is negative for the bears. The next test is potential resistance in the $46-47 zone. More conservative traders may want to lower their stop a bit. 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: - 1.14
Earnings Date 06/26/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.4 million

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3M Co. - MMM - close: 76.90 chg: +0.73 stop: 77.01

There is no change from our prior comments on MMM. We're 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: 42.82 chg: -0.22 stop: n/a

The ASCO conference starts on May 30th and it looks like investors are waiting to hear what the biotech sector has to say before placing any bets. Shares of AMGN continue to trade sideways. The conference is over on June 3rd. 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 less than four weeks.

Picked on May 22 at $ 42.77
Change since picked: + 0.05
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.7 million

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McDonald's - MCD - close: 58.69 chg: +0.58 stop: n/a

MCD continues to see a minor oversold bounce following the recent down turn. 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 less than four weeks and will see their premium erode more quickly.

Picked on May 18 at $ 60.53
Change since picked: - 1.84
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.5 million
 

Dropped Calls

IHOP Corp. - IHP - close: 47.76 change: -0.12 stop: 49.49

IHP is still struggling to bounce. It looks like shares want to rebound from their 100-dma but it just can't get any momentum. We were waiting for a breakout over resistance with a trigger at $53.75. The stock has not yet hit our trigger so we're dropping this play unopened. Meanwhile in the news today IHP announced that it is changing its corporate name from IHOP Corp. to DineEquity Inc. after it has completed its purchase of AppleBee's International Inc. last year. IHP's symbol will change to DIN beginning in June.

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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Mechel OAO - MTL - close: 55.49 change: +4.01 stop: 47.69

Target exceeded. Shares of MTL sprang higher following yesterday's rebound from support. The stock posted an impressive 7.7% gain on strong volume today. The intraday high was $55.98. Our target was the $54.00-55.00 zone. MTL is due to report earnings tomorrow so we're happy to be out of the stock.

Picked on May 25 at $ 49.19 *target exceeded (55.98 high)
Change since picked: + 6.30
Earnings Date 05/29/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.4 million
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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