CALL Play Updates

Amazon.com - AMZN - close: 82.96 change: +1.36 stop: 79.75

AMZN just spent a week consolidation at the bottom of its bullish channel. Bulls have been buying dips near $81.00. I'm suggesting readers use the bounce on Friday as another entry point to buy calls.

Our first target is $89.00. Our second target is $97.50. The P&F chart has produced a new buy signal with a $101 target.

Suggested Options:
I am suggesting the July or October calls but we plan to exit ahead of the late July earnings report.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     June 12 at $ 82.50 *triggered     
Change since picked:      + 0.46
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       6.9 million  
Listed on  June 01, 2009         


Apollo Group - APOL - close: 66.19 change: -0.75 stop: 62.24

We have six days left for our APOL call play. The stock broke out over resistance last week. The pull back toward this resistance near $66.00 on Friday is another entry point to buy calls. Keep in mind that this is somewhat of an aggressive trade with overhead resistance in the form of its 100-dma and 200-dma near $68.75.

Our first target to take profits is $69.95. Our second target is $74.00. The Point & Figure chart is forecasting an $82 target. We do not want to hold over the June 29 earnings report. We will plan to exit on Friday, June 26th or Monday, June 29th.

Suggested Options:
I would use the July calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     June 17 at $ 66.10 *triggered  
Change since picked:      + 0.09
Earnings Date           06/29/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.4 million  
Listed on  June 08, 2009         


Becton Dickinson - BDX - close: 69.15 change: -0.16 stop: 67.75

Our call play on BDX was almost triggered on Friday. The stock broke through resistance at $70.00 and its 200-ema Friday morning but the high was only $70.31. Our trigger to buy calls is at $70.51. The rally failed and BDX slipped back toward resistance near $69.00 (easily seen on an intraday chart). I'm sticking with our $70.51 entry point.

If triggered our first target to take profits is $74.90. Our second target is $79.00. Currently the Point & Figure chart is bullish and forecasts an $86 target. We don't want to hold over the late July earnings report. Note: I'll admit that our second target at $79 is a little aggressive considering our time frame. Be sure to take some money off the table at $74.90.

Suggested Options:
I'm suggesting the July or September calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     June xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.8 million  
Listed on  June 18, 2009         


Express Scripts - ESRX - close: 66.39 change: +0.29 stop: 59.99

ESRX is a new play from Thursday night and the pop toward $68 on Friday doesn't change anything. I suspect that the stock will contract and retest the $65.00 level so I'm suggesting readers use a trigger to buy calls at $65.25. If triggered our first target is $69.90. Our second target is $74.75. FYI: The P&F chart is bullish with a $77 target.

Suggested Options:
I am suggesting the August calls. We do not want to hold over the very late July earnings report.

BUY CALL AUG 65.00 XTQ-HM open interest=2075 current ask $5.10
BUY CALL AUG 70.00 XTQ-HN open interest=5865 current ask $2.70
BUY CALL AUG 75.00 XTQ-HO open interest=1676 current ask $1.20

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     June xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           07/29/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.7 million  
Listed on  June 18, 2009         


Intl.Bus.Mach. - IBM - close: 105.89 change: -0.44 stop: 104.90

Shares of IBM are down six days in a row. The stock is testing very short-term support at $105.50. Oddly enough volume was pretty strong at 13.6 million shares on Friday. You could argue that IBM is now (very) short-term oversold and due for a bounce. The larger trend is still up. I would buy this dip or buy a bounce from here. More aggressive traders may want to lower their stop to under the 50-dma (104.08). Our stop is at $104.90 to close the play if IBM breaks the $105 level. Our first target is $113.50. Our second target is $118.50.

Suggested Options:
I would use the July calls. Preferably the $105 or $110 strikes.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     June 03 at $106.25 *triggered     
Change since picked:      - 0.36
Earnings Date           07/16/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       7.3 million  
Listed on  June 01, 2009         


Mastercard - MA - close: 161.35 change: -2.04 stop: 158.90

We have been talking about a dip toward $160 in MA for weeks now. Shares continue to bounce from the 200-dma. Unfortunately the 200-dma is falling. Traders did buy the dip near $160 and shares are still inside their very, wide bullish up trend but without a doubt the action these last few weeks has been bearish. MA has suffered lower highs and lower lows and the P&F chart eventually turned bearish and now points to a $148 target.

If the economy is going to improve then MA will recover but we could be stopped out before that recovery appears. I labeled this an aggressive play due to MA's volatility when we launched it. If you were going to consider a bullish trade in MA then this is a good spot. We've got a stop loss at $158.90 so our risk on a new trade would be minimal. As a matter of fact I'm listing a new trade right here with a different set of targets.

Our May 4th entry point has two targets. We want to take some money off the table at $198.50 since the $200.00 mark could be round-number resistance. Our second target is $218.50.

Our new June 20th entry point also has two targets. We want to take profits at $174.00 and at $184.00.

FYI: If MA hits our stop loss readers may want to consider bearish strategies (like the July puts).

Suggested Options:
MA's next earnings report is July 30th (unconfirmed) and July options expire after the 17th. I'm suggesting the October calls for any new positions.

BUY CALL OCT 160 MAL-JL open interest= 222 current ask $15.40
BUY CALL OCT 170 MAL-JN open interest=2986 current ask $10.90
BUY CALL OCT 180 MAL-JP open interest=1580 current ask $ 7.40

Annotated Chart:

-- New Trade @ 161.35 --
Picked on     June 20 at $161.35 
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           07/30/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       4.0 million  
Listed on  June 20, 2009

-- Original Trade --
Picked on      May 04 at $176.07 *gap down entry
                               /originally listed at $178.99
Change since picked:      -14.72
Earnings Date           07/30/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       4.0 million  
Listed on   May 04, 2009         


Teva Pharma. - TEVA - close: 47.27 change: -0.32 stop: 45.40

TEVA is starting to see a correction after its late May early June rally. Shares failed near $48.00 and its 10-dma on Friday. I'm expecting a dip back toward $46.00. Readers can open new call positions on a dip in the $46.50-46.00 zone. Our exit target is $49.85. My time frame is very late July.

Suggested Options:
I don't see any August $45 or $50 calls so I'm suggesting the September strikes.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     June 03 at $ 46.49
Change since picked:      + 0.78
Earnings Date           07/29/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.0 million  
Listed on  June 03, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

L-3 Comm. - LLL - close: 71.70 change: -0.39 stop: 75.55

LLL is still slipping lower. The stock spiked toward $73.00 on Friday morning but immediately failed. I am still suggesting bearish put positions at current levels or on a bounce in the $73-74 zone. More conservative traders might be able to get away with a stop near $74.50 instead of ours at $75.55. We should expect some sort of bounce at $70.00. Our first target is $66.00. Our second target is $61.00.

FYI: The DFI defense index still has a bullish trend. The DFX defense index has turned sideways. LLL is under performing both of them but if these indices turn higher bears could face trouble in LLL.

Suggested Options:
I am suggesting the July puts.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     June 16 at $ 71.75
Change since picked:      - 0.05
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       976 thousand  
Listed on  June 16, 2009         


MDC Holdings - MDC - close: 29.01 change: +0.37 stop: 31.05

The homebuilders managed a bounce on Friday but the trend in the DJUSHB home construction index is still bearish with a pattern of lower highs. MDC has a similar pattern but the stock is oversold enough that last week's rebound has caused a bullish up turn for some of the short-term technicals.

More conservative traders may want to lower their stop toward $30.50 or just start taking profits now. I'm not suggesting new positions. Our first target is $27.75. Our second target is $25.15.

Suggested Options:
No new plays at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on      May 20 at $ 32.31 /gap down entry
                               /originally listed at $32.87
Change since picked:      - 3.30
Earnings Date           07/30/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.1 million  
Listed on   May 20, 2009         


Symantec - SYMC - close: 15.88 change: +0.19 stop: 16.85

Nothing has really changed for us with SYMC. The mid June failed rally near $16.75 was a bearish reversal and the stock has been slowly sinking since. Technicals are bearish and the MACD is about to produce a new sell signal. Currently shares are testing technical support at the exponential 200-dma. I am still suggesting new bearish put positions here. Our first exit target is $14.10.

Suggested Options:
I would use the July puts.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     June 16 at $ 15.73
Change since picked:      + 0.15
Earnings Date           07/29/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =      16.8 million  
Listed on  June 16, 2009         


Toll Brothers - TOL - close: 16.62 change: +0.18 stop: 18.26

TOL is sinking to new three-month lows. Shares are within striking distance of our exit target at $16.25. More conservative traders may want to go ahead and start taking profits right now. I'm not suggesting new positions.

Suggested Options:
No new plays at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on      May 20 at $ 18.98
Change since picked:      - 2.36
Earnings Date           06/03/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       4.7 million  
Listed on   May 20, 2009         


United Parcel Serv. - UPS - close: 48.14 change: -0.16 stop: 52.51

Thus far UPS is not cooperating. Both UPS and FDX have issued bearish comments after the most recent earnings reports. For FDX that report was last week. Both companies can be viewed as sort of a thermostat for business conditions in the country and if business is bad investors may want to be cautious. UPS has sunk to new relative lows and broke down under the 100-dma.

Our plan is to buy puts on a bounce back into the $49.50-50.00 zone. You could make that the $49.50-52.00 zone since UPS has resistance at $50.00 and near $52.00. If triggered our first target to take profits is $45.50. We do not want to hold over the late July earnings report.

Suggested Options:
We want to use the July or October puts. I prefer the Julys.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     June xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.2 million  
Listed on  June 17, 2009         


Strangle & Spread Play 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.)

Walgreen - WAG - close: 31.43 change: -0.29 stop: n/a

WAG is a new strangle from Thursday night. Friday was our chance to open positions ahead of Monday's earnings report. After weeks of consolidating sideways WAG could see a big move on its earnings numbers and guidance. Wall Street is looking for a profit of 56 cents a share. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

The options I suggested were the July $35 calls (WAG-GG) and the July $27.50 puts (WAG-SY). Our estimated cost was .50. We want to sell if either option hits $1.25 or higher.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     June 18 at $ 31.72 
Change since picked:      - 0.29  
Earnings Date           06/22/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       6.3 million  
Listed on  June 18, 2009         


CLOSED STRANGLE & SPREAD PLAYS

Gold ETF - GLD - close: 91.90 change: +0.29 stop: n/a

The U.S. dollar spiked higher on Monday and then faded lower the rest of the week. Unfortunately the dollar weakness wasn't enough to overcome weakness in gold. Our GLD gold ETF strangle has expired. The play was looking pretty good in early June with GLD over $96.00 but gold and the rest of the commodities suffered some profit taking.

The options we suggested were the June $95 calls (GLD-FQ) and the June $80.00 puts (GLD-RB). Our estimated cost was $1.95.

Chart:

Picked on    April 30 at $ 87.27
Change since picked:      + 4.63
Earnings Date           00/00/00 
Average Daily Volume =        13 million  
Listed on April 30, 2009