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Call Updates

Harsco - HSC - close: 62.64 change: +0.85 stop: 60.45 *new*

HSC displayed relative strength with a 1.3% gain. Volume came in above average on the move, which is a positive sign. We are inching up our stop loss to $60.45. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. 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: + 2.26
Earnings Date 04/22/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 613 thousand

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iShares Russ.2000 - IWM - cls: 74.41 chg: +0.75 stop: 71.45

Small caps performed well today. The IWM hit an intraday high of $75.02. We have been suggesting that more conservative traders may want to exit near $74.50 so today was an opportunity to cash out. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. 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: + 1.86
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 84.6 million

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Martin Marietta - MLM - cls: 117.39 chg: -0.38 stop: 114.95

MLM is still trying to rebound and is maintaining a trend of higher lows but the bulls are having a hard time posting any real gains. The MACD on the daily chart just produced a new sell signal. We are suggesting caution and suspect that MLM will pull back to retest the $115.50 zone. If we don't see some improvement soon we're going to abandon ship. Our target is the $123.50-124.00 zone. FYI: The P&F chart is bullish with a $158 target.

Picked on May 27 at $118.15
Change since picked: - 0.76
Earnings Date 05/06/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 561 thousand

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Murphy Oil - MUR - close: 92.15 change: -3.13 stop: 91.85

It doesn't look good for the oil stocks. Crude oil hit some heavy profit taking in spite of a bullish inventory report and the oil sector slipped. Shares of MUR lost 3.2% and have pulled back to short-term support near $92.00. If there is any follow through lower in crude or the OIX oil index we expect to see MUR hit our stop loss at $91.85. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. We'll wait and see what happens.

Picked on May 28 at $ 95.28
Change since picked: - 3.13
Earnings Date 07/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.6 million

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Natl. Oilwell Varco - NOV - cls: 80.88 chg: -2.27 stop: 78.69

NOV is another wounded oil stock. The sell-off in crude oil sparked profit taking across the energy sector. NOV lost 3.1% and almost erased yesterday's gains. A bounce from $80.00 can be used as a new entry point. More conservative traders might want to tighten their stops closer to $80.00. Our target is the $88.50-90.00 zone. The P&F chart is bullish with a $105 target.

Picked on May 28 at $ 83.15
Change since picked: - 2.27
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.4 million

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Oceaneering Intl. - OII - cls: 71.27 chg: -2.09 stop: 69.95

OII is an oil service stock and it followed the oil services index, and crude oil, lower. OII gave up 2.8% and reversed yesterday's gains. The stock is back to testing support near $70.00. A bounce from $70 can be used as a new entry point but we would be very cautious on opening new bullish positions. We have two targets. Our first target is $78.50. Our second target is $83.00.

Picked on May 28 at $ 73.36
Change since picked: - 2.09
Earnings Date 07/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.0 million

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Priceline.com - PCLN - close: 131.94 chg: -2.19 stop: 126.99

PCLN is struggling to build on its recent bounce attempts. Strength in shares of rival EXPE is not affecting shares of PCLN. Look for a bounce near $130 as a potential entry point. Our target is the $139.50-140.00 zone.

Picked on May 27 at $132.75 *triggered
Change since picked: - 0.81
Earnings Date 05/08/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million

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POSCO - PKX - close: 135.09 change: +0.49 stop: 129.75

PKX posted another gain and held it for most of the session before finally beginning to retreat near the closing bell. The trend in PKX remains bullish. 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: + 1.83
Earnings Date 07/14/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 733 thousand

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Molson-Coors Brewing - TAP - cls: 57.88 chg: +0.62 stop: 55.49

TAP is trying to recover but shares pulled back from their highs today. More conservative traders may want to raise their stop loss closer to $56.00 or $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: - 0.63
Earnings Date 08/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million

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Exxon Mobil - XOM - close: 89.35 chg: -1.08 stop: 88.79

The sell-off in crude oil fueled some profit taking in oil stocks and XOM was not immune. Shares lost 1.4% and are back to testing technical support at its 200-dma. A breakdown under $88.00 would look like a new short-term entry point to buy puts. At this point we could consider buying calls on a bounce from $89 or a new move over $90.60. Our target is the $94.85-95.00 range.

Picked on May 28 at $ 90.43
Change since picked: - 1.08
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 24.4 million
 

Put Updates

3M Co. - MMM - close: 77.76 chg: +0.86 stop: 77.01

MMM added 1.1% but has not yet broken its trend of lower highs. We're still sitting on the sidelines waiting for a breakdown. 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: 43.42 chg: +0.60 stop: n/a

Biotech stocks were some of the best performers today. The BTK index rose 2.8% one day ahead of the ASCO conference. Shares of AMGN added 1.4% and appears to be breaking out from its sideways consolidation. We are not suggesting new strangle positions at this time. 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: + 0.65
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.7 million

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McDonald's - MCD - close: 59.48 chg: +0.79 stop: n/a

MCD has retraced over half of its mid-May decline. We suspect that shares will struggle to make it back over $60.00 but that probably depends on the broader market strength. 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: - 1.05
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.5 million
 

Dropped Calls

Apache - APA - close: 133.16 change: -5.81 stop: 133.39

It was a very volatile day in oil. The commodity spiked higher when the government announced that crude oil inventories saw their biggest weekly drop in years. I think this was the third weekly drop in a row. Yet the rally in oil was short-lived and front month crude oil fell more than $4. This weighed heavily on the oil sector. Shares of APA have reversed and broken below yesterday's low hitting our stop loss at $133.39. This is also a potential breakdown of the four-month up trend.

Picked on May 28 at $138.97 *stopped out 133.39
Change since picked: - 5.81
Earnings Date 07/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.5 million

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Carbo Ceramics - CRR - close: 47.58 change: -0.11 stop: 46.90

We are calling it quits on CRR. The stock is just not moving and lack of movement is terrible if you're holding options. The general trend is still positive but short-term technical indicators are growing more bearish. We had been aiming for $52.00 and shares hit $51.17 on May 21st.

Picked on May 11 at $ 47.45
Change since picked: + 0.13
Earnings Date 04/24/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 303 thousand
 

Dropped Puts

Apollo Group - APOL - close: 47.82 chg: +2.25 stop: 48.01

Unfortunately, we could not find any news to account for the sudden strength in APOL. It looks like a minor short squeeze. The stock rallied to $48.79 and hit our stop loss at $48.01 intraday.

Picked on May 18 at $ 46.71
Change since picked: + 1.11
Earnings Date 06/26/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.4 million
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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