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Call Updates

Black & Decker - BDK - close: 66.36 chg: -1.29 stop: 63.75

BDK displayed some relative strength this morning with a rise to $68.48 before pulling back to technical support at its 10-dma and 200-dma. This is not a great market for bullish strategies at this time but BDK held up relatively well. I would hesitate to open new positions. If you do buy calls on BDK you may want to use a tighter stop loss. Our target is the $74.00 mark. The Point & Figure chart for BDK is bullish with a $78 target.

Picked on September 14 at $ 67.65
Change since picked: - 1.29
Earnings Date 10/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.0 million

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UltraShort Russell2000 - TWM - cls: 74.49 chg: +6.12 stop: 67.75*new*

It was a good day for the bears. The markets tanked on the financial distress on Wall Street. The Russell 2000 small cap index plunged more than 4% to new six-week lows. This lead to an 8.9% rally in the TWM and a bullish breakout over recent resistance. We are raising the stop loss to $67.75. We have two targets. Our first target is $77.50. Our second target is $82.50.

FYI: Traders should take note that the VIX is now over 30 and moves over 30 tend to mark significant market bottoms. The TWM may not move much farther so prepare to take profits whenever you deem it necessary.

Picked on September 09 at $ 71.37
Change since picked: + 3.12
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 7.4 million
 

Put Updates

Hartford Fincl. - HIG - cls: 57.09 chg: -3.29 stop: 62.25

A vortex of destruction in the financials markets is tugging at shares of AIG like a massive black hole. The gravitational force is strong enough to pull shares of HIG lower. HIG gapped open lower at $57.20, bounced back to $61.46 and then rolled over again. Our suggested entry point to buy puts was $58.70 so we would have been triggered at the opening bell. Our first target is $54.00. We're adding a second target at $50.50. The 2008 July low was $53.20, which happens to be near the late 2004 lows. The P&F chart is bearish and the target just dropped from $53 to $49.

Picked on September 15 at $ 57.20 *gap down entry
Change since picked: - 0.11
Earnings Date 10/29/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.5 million

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Intuitive Surgical - ISRG - cls: 269.67 chg: -8.52 stop: 280.55

The widespread market weakness was enough to arrest ISRG's bounce attempt. The stock rolled over again. More conservative traders could exit now with minimal losses here. This actually looks like another bearish entry point. However, before you consider buying puts again take note of the VIX. Normally when the VIX hits the 30 region it signals a bottom soon. Our target is $251.00. More aggressive traders might want to consider aiming for the January 2008 lows near $225 but keep in mind the $250 level could be strong support. This should be considered a higher-risk play because the stock price can be so volatile and the options can have wide spreads.

Picked on September 09 at $268.11
Change since picked: + 1.56
Earnings Date 10/16/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 655 thousand

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Lamar Advertising - LAMR - cls: 35.70 chg: -1.46 stop: 38.01

LAMR gapped open lower at $36.00, spiked to $35.40, then bounced all the way back to $37.64 before rolling over again. This is a bearish entry point. We had a trigger listed to buy puts at $35.90. If you missed it we would consider new positions now. However, our same warning in the ISRG update applies. The VIX spiking to the 30 region is a warning for the bears. More conservative traders could lower their stop toward today's high. Our target is 31.50 mark. More aggressive traders could aim for a new relative low.

Picked on September 15 at $ 35.90 *triggered
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 11/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.4 million

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Roper Industries - ROP - cls: 57.15 chg: -0.98 stop: 59.15*new*

ROP spiked lower to $55.04 this morning but traders bought the dip near psychological support at $55.00 again. We're not suggesting new positions at this time and we are adjusting the stop loss to $59.15. Our target is $54.25. Readers might want to exit early on another dip near $55.00. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bearish with a $45 target but the P&F chart also shows some support near $53.00.

Picked on September 03 at $ 58.19
Change since picked: - 1.04
Earnings Date 10/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 664 thousand

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Unibanco - UBB - close: 98.54 chg: -9.99 stop: 108.82*new*

If you missed your chance to take some profits at $100 last week you got another chance today. The distress in the financial sector had UBB gapping open lower at $101.29 and slipping to $98.00 intraday this afternoon. We are adjusting our stop loss to $108.82. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. UBB has already exceeded our first target at $100.50. Our second target is $92.50. The Point & Figure chart has produced a triple-bottom breakdown sell signal and the bearish target has dropped from $92 to $84. The stock can be volatile so readers should consider this a higher-risk play.

Picked on September 04 at $108.82 /1st target hit 9/10/08
Change since picked: -10.28
Earnings Date 11/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million
 

Strangle Updates

None
 

Dropped Calls

CBOE Volatility Index - VIX - close: 31.70 chg: +6.04 stop: n/a

Target exceeded. Just a few weeks ago in mid August I was starting to doubt our strategy on the VIX but it paid off today. The credit crisis and ripples from the housing market have turned into tidal waves on Wall Street. Today's distress in the financial sector fanned the flames of fear and the Volatility index rallied to 31.87. Our suggested target to exit was $29.75.

Picked on August 03 at $ 22.57 /target hit 9/15/08
Change since picked: + 9.13
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = x million
 

Dropped Puts

Everest RE Group - RE - close: 78.12 chg: -0.37 stop: 80.75

The spike higher in shares of RE today was a real surprise. Not only were there dozens of reports about how much damage hurricane Ike had caused but we also had the dramatic turn of events on Wall Street surrounding AIG. RE spiked to $81.45 intraday, traded sideways near $81.00 for a while before finally rolling over again. Our suggested stop loss was $80.75.

Picked on September 14 at $ 78.49 /stopped out 80.75
Change since picked: - 0.37
Earnings Date 10/20/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 522 thousand
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

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