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Call Updates

Murphy Oil - MUR - close: 100.93 chg: +2.88 stop: 93.95 *new*

Target exceeded. MUR continues to show relative strength and rallied through round-number resistance at the $100 mark. The stock closed at a new all-time high. We have two targets and our first target was $99.95. We suggest readers do some profit taking if they have not already. We're not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. Please note our new stop loss at $93.95. Our second target is $104.85. The P&F chart is bullish and the upside target has risen from $109 to $121.

Picked on June 29 at $ 96.26 /1st target exceeded 99.95
Change since picked: + 4.69
Earnings Date 07/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.9 million

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CBOE Volatility Index - VIX - close: 23.65 chg: -0.30 stop:

Remember, this is a very aggressive lottery-ticket style of option play on the VIX. This is only going to be a winner if the market crashes lower and investors capitulate, which would send the VIX toward 30. Right now it looks like the markets may have put in a short-term bottom. If stocks rally from here the VIX should retreat lower. Today's move in the VIX looks like a bearish reversal. We are NOT suggesting new positions in the VIX at this time. Keep an eye on it for a dip back toward the 21.50 zone. We were suggesting the July or August calls with a preference for the August 30s but right now we'd wait on opening bullish positions. We'll probably get a better entry point down the road here. We were suggesting two targets. One at $29.50 and a second one at $34.00.

Picked on June 30 at $ 23.95
Change since picked: - 0.30
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = n/a million

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Wynn Resorts - WYNN - close: 82.10 chg: +0.75 stop: 76.95 *new*

The market's morning weakness was too much and WYNN gapped open lower at $78.50 and plunged to $77.12 before bouncing. We had a stop loss at $77.45 so the play is closed. However, I still think WYNN is poised to rally from here. Yes, there is a lot of news about how the casinos are getting hammered by the slow down in the economy. I agree. The gambling stocks are growing to struggle this year but that doesn't mean WYNN won't see some sharp, bear-market bounces. We're marking today as a loss and suggesting readers re-open positions on today's bounce with a stop under today's low. Our new target is $89.00.

Picked on June 30 at $ 82.10 *new play
Change since picked: + 0.60
Earnings Date 08/04/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.0 million
 

Put Updates

None
 

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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Alpha Nat. Res. - ANR - close: 104.31 chg: +0.02 stop: n/a

There doesn't appear to be any window "undressing". If there was traders bought the dip at $97.12 this morning. ANR continues to out perform. We still need to see some big moves in ANR if this strangle play is going to become profitable. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. This is a higher-risk strangle play with the options so expensive. The options we suggested were the July $105 calls (ANR-GA) and the July $85 puts (ANR-SQ). Our estimated cost was $9.40. We want to sell if either option hits $14.50.

Picked on June 15 at $ 94.25
Change since picked: +10.06
Earnings Date 08/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.7 million

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Chevron - CVX - close: 99.08 chg: -0.05 stop: n/a

We do not see any changes from our Monday night comments. We're suggesting a strangle to capture any big moves in CVX over the next two months. The puts cost more than the calls so you will have an uneven number of contracts as you try to keep your investment balanced on either side of the trade. We would try and open positions in the $99.00-101.00 zone. The options we suggested were the August $110 calls (CVX-HB) and the August $90 puts (CVX-TR). Our estimated cost is $2.20 (based on June 30th prices we needed 2 calls per 1 put). We want to sell if the puts $3.85 or if the calls hit $1.90. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher.

Picked on June 30 at $ 99.13
Change since picked: - 0.05
Earnings Date 08/01/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 13.3 million

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Garmin Ltd. - GRMN - close: 42.94 chg: +0.10 stop: n/a

GRMN continues to bounce around. We reiterate yesterday's comments. It's time that more conservative traders need to make a decision about exiting early and just cutting your losses now. We have less than three weeks left for July options. We're going to stick with the play for now. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. The options we listed were the July $50 calls (GQR-GJ) and the July $40 puts (GQR-SH). Our estimated cost was $2.55. We want to sell if either option hits $ 4.75 or higher.

Picked on June 15 at $ 44.91
Change since picked: - 1.97
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.1 million

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Holly Corp. - HOC - close: 36.78 chg: -0.14 stop: n/a

HOC still reaching for a bottom and still hitting new relative lows. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. The options we listed were the July $45 calls (HOC-GI) and the July $35 puts (HOC-SG). Our estimated cost was $2.00. We want to sell if either option hits $ 3.00 or higher.

Picked on June 15 at $ 41.25
Change since picked: - 4.47
Earnings Date 08/07/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million

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KLA-Tencor - KLAC - close: 41.54 chg: +0.83 stop: n/a

The way that KLAC is consolidating it looks like the stock is poised for a breakout over the $42.00 level. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. We have less than three weeks left, which raises the risk for this play. We listed two different strangles on KLAC.

Suggested Options:
KLAC Strangle #1) The options we listed were the July $42.50 calls (KCQ-GV) and the July $37.50 puts (KCQ-SU). Our estimated cost is $1.65 We want to sell if either option hits $3.00.

KLAC Strangle #2) The options we listed were the July $45.00 calls (KCQ-GI) and the July $35.00 puts (KCQ-SG). Our estimated cost is $0.70. We want to sell if either option hits $1.50.

Picked on June 22 at $ 40.07
Change since picked: + 1.47
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.7 million

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United States Oil - USO - cls: 114.59 chg: +0.93 stop: n/a

Crude oil is still marching higher. The USO managed to tag a new all-time high. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. We suggested two different strangles. The strangle with the wider strikes costs less but has higher risk.

USO Strangle #1) The options we listed were the July $115 calls (IYS-GK) and the July $105 puts (IYS-SA). Our estimated cost is $7.10 We want to sell if either option hits $9.75.

USO Strangle #2) The options we listed were the July $120 calls (QSO-GP) and the July $100 puts (IYS-SV). Our estimated cost is $4.10. We want to sell if either option hits $6.50.

Picked on June 22 at $109.14
Change since picked: + 5.45
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 12.5 million

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Valero - VLO - close: 40.38 change: -0.80 stop: n/a

Strong oil prices continue to put pressure on VLO. We're not suggesting new positions. The options we suggested were the July $50 calls (VLO-GJ) and the July $40 puts (VLO-SH). Our estimated cost is $1.89. We want to sell if either option hits $2.75 or higher.

Picked on June 15 at $ 44.84
Change since picked: - 4.46
Earnings Date 07/29/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.8 million
 

Dropped Calls

iShares Russ. 2000 - IWM - cls: 69.10 chg: +0.05 stop: 68.90

It was another rocky session for stocks. The majority of stocks managed to rebound this afternoon. Unfortunately, the first half of the day was enough to hit our stop loss on the IWM at $68.90. Actually the IWM gapped open lower at $68.24 so we would have been stopped out at the opening trade. The markets do look like they may have produced a short-term bottom today. Readers may want to reconsider new bullish positions.

Picked on June 29 at $ 69.70 (gap down exit 68.24)
Change since picked: - 0.60
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 74 million
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

Amgen Inc. - AMGN - close: 48.64 chg: +1.48 stop: n/a

Target achieved! AMGN just continues to out perform. The stock added 3.1% and broke through technical resistance at the 200-dma. The call side of our strangle was the July $45 calls, which hit an intraday high of $3.70 and are currently trading around $3.85. We were suggesting readers exit if either side of our strangle hit $3.00 or more. 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.

Picked on May 22 at $ 42.77 *target achieved 81% to 124%
Change since picked: + 5.87
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.7 million

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Nucor - NUE - close: 72.23 change: -2.44 stop: n/a

Target achieved. NUE endured a rough day. The only real news was about a legal battle with rival SeverCorr and a former employee of NUE. It looks like NUE "won" a settlement and yet the stock collapsed. Shares hit an intraday low of $69.34. The put side of our strangle, the July $70 puts, hit $3.80 intraday. Our target to exit was $3.50 or higher. The options we listed were the July $85 calls (NUE-GQ) and the July $70 puts (NUE-SN). Our estimated cost is $2.50.

Picked on June 25 at $ 77.18 *target achieved strangle
Change since picked: - 4.95
Earnings Date 07/17/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.6 million
 

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