CALL Play Updates

Express Scripts - ESRX - close: 65.65 change: -1.01 stop: 64.75

Readers may want to consider an early exit in ERSX. The stock did bounce from round-number support at $65.00 this morning but the bounce rolled over midday. We have a pretty tight stop loss so I'm willing to let it ride but if the S&P 500 rolls over again tomorrow I expect to be stopped out. Our first target is $69.90. Our second target is $74.75.

Picked on     June 22 at $ 65.25
Change since picked:      + 0.40
Earnings Date           07/29/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.7 million  
Listed on  June 18, 2009         


Euro Currency ETF - FXE - close: 140.32 chg: +1.52 stop: 137.90

Weakness in the U.S. dollar breathed new life into the FXE, which bounced back above the $140 level. This looks like a new bullish entry point to buy calls. I would suggest using the August or September calls.

Our first target is $144.50. Our second target is $148.50. The P&F chart is bullish with a $168 target.

Picked on     June 23 at $140.76
Change since picked:      - 0.44
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       461 thousand    
Listed on  June 23, 2009         


Lorillard Inc. - LO - close: 66.76 change: -0.67 stop: 67.30

I am about ready to give up on LO as a bullish candidate. After its last failed rally at $70.00 the stock has been steadily falling. If the stock doesn't bounce at $66.00 we'll drop it. We're still waiting for a breakout over resistance.

We have a trigger to buy calls at $70.10. If triggered our first target is $74.00. Our second target is $76.75. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is very bullish and currently forecasts a $92 target.

Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           07/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.8 million  
Listed on  July 01, 2009         


UltraShort SP& 500 - SDS - cls: 59.92 chg: -0.24 stop: 55.90

If I was a bull today's 3-point bounce in the S&P 500 would be pretty disappointing. I'm still bullish on the SDS. Readers can buy calls now or wait for a dip near $58.00 as a potential entry point.

I'm repeating myself but the SDS can be volatile and readers may want to trade half or less than their normal position size. Our first target to take profits is the $64.00 level. Our second target is the $67.00 level. My time frame is several weeks (toward August option expiration) but traders might want to buy September calls instead.

Picked on     July 08 at $ 60.50 *triggered     
Change since picked:      - 0.58
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =        40 million  
Listed on  July 07, 2009         


Visa - V - close: 60.44 change: +0.95 stop: xx.xx

Visa did bounce and close back above $60.00, which is bullish but today's rebound wasn't very convincing. For now we have no entry point for Visa but I might be tempted to buy calls if Visa can traded above $62.00.

FYI: We initially listed V with a trigger to buy calls at $58.00 and then canceled the play before being triggered due to market weakness. We're keeping V on the play list as a prime candidate for new call positions if it can show some strength.

Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- Wait for a new entry point
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           07/29/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       7.7 million  
Listed on  July 04, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

Agrium Inc. - AGU - close: 37.90 change: +1.17 stop: 41.65

After falling five out of the last six sessions AGU finally produced a little oversold bounce today. Shares gained 3.1%. I would watch for a failed rally in the $39.00-40.00 zone as a new entry point for puts. Our first target is $35.10. Our second target is $31.00.

FYI: Readers should note that AGU is trying a hostile takeover for CF Industries, which is itself trying a hostile takeover of Terra Industries.

Picked on     July 06 at $ 38.75 *triggered     
Change since picked:      - 0.85
Earnings Date           07/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       4.2 million  
Listed on  June 30, 2009         


Core Labs - CLB - close: 82.94 change: +0.34 stop: 85.25 *new*

Traders have a decision to make on CLB. Technically today's gain following yesterday's bullish engulfing reversal candlestick pattern is a confirmation that the trend has changed. Bears could argue that today looks more like a failed rally under resistance at $85.00 and its exponential 200-dma. I'm siding with the bears on this one. Yesterday we lowered the stop loss to $85.25 and today's failed rally looks like a new entry point to buy puts. My bigger concern is crude oil. Oil futures have fallen to round-number support near $60.00 and after falling almost 20% in a little more than a week oil is due for a bounce. Readers may want to consider some sort of hedge, like calls on the USO in case oil does rebound.

CLB has already hit our first target at $80.25. Our second target is $76.00.

Picked on     July 01 at $ 83.16 /gap down entry
                              /originally listed at 84.53
Change since picked:      - 0.22
                              /1st target hit @ 80.25 (-3.5%)
Earnings Date           07/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       232 thousand 
Listed on  July 01, 2009         


Compass Minerals Intl. - CMP - cls: 52.79 change: +0.73 stop: 56.26

Entry point! Yesterday I suggested looking for a failed rally under $54.00 as an entry point to buy puts and we got it. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stops. Our first target is $47.50. Our second target is $43.00.

Picked on     July 06 at $ 52.25 *triggered     
Change since picked:      + 0.54
Earnings Date           07/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       792 thousand 
Listed on  June 29, 2009         


Costco - COST - close: 45.50 change: -0.52 stop: 46.10

Aggressive traders might want to consider bearish positions now. The stock produced a failed rally pattern as investors reacted to the -6.0% same-store sales data from COST this morning. I am suggesting readers stick to the plan and wait for the breakdown under $44.00.

Our plan is to buy puts at $43.90. If triggered our target is $40.25.

Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           10/08/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =      4.75 million  
Listed on  July 04, 2009         


ITT Educational - ESI - close: 88.64 change: -1.86 stop: 92.65

Our new play on ESI is now open. The stock broke down under support in the $89-90 zone and hit our trigger to buy puts at $88.99. Our first target is $81.00. We do not want to hold over the late July earnings report.

Chart:

Picked on     July 09 at $ 88.99 *triggered     
Change since picked:      - 0.35
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       902 thousand 
Listed on  July 08, 2009         


Freeport McMoran - FCX - close: 46.69 change: +1.59 stop: 50.51

We were expecting a bounce in FCX following AA's earnings. I am suggesting readers look for a failed rally in the $48-50 zone to launch new positions. Today's bounce didn't seem high enough. FCX has already hit our first target at $45.25. Our second target is $41.00.

Picked on     July 04 at $ 47.92 /gap down entry
                               /originally listed at $49.72
Change since picked:      - 1.23
                               /1st target hit @ 45.25 (-5.5%)
Earnings Date           07/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        18 million  
Listed on  July 04, 2009         


L-3 Comm. - LLL - close: 64.69 change: +0.72 stop: 68.55

If you have not taken any profits yet I suggest you do so. LLL is trying to produce an oversold bounce and today's 1% gain could be the beginning of a multi-day rebound. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. LLL has already hit our first target at $66.00. Our second target is $61.00.

Picked on     June 16 at $ 71.75
Change since picked:      - 7.06
                               /1st target hit @ 66.00 (-8.0%)
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       976 thousand  
Listed on  June 16, 2009         


MetLife Inc. - MET - close: 27.63 change: +0.73 stop: 30.35

I don't see any changes from my prior comments. I would watch for a bounce or failed rally near $29.00 as a new entry point. Our first target is $25.25. Our second target is $21.75.

Picked on     July 04 at $ 28.04
Change since picked:      - 0.41
Earnings Date           07/30/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       7.4 million  
Listed on  July 04, 2009         


NII Holdings - NIHD - close: 18.87 change: +0.51 stop: 20.10

Entry point! NIHD produced a failed rally under its 200-dma, which was exactly what we were looking for. Our first target is $16.15.

Picked on     July 04 at $ 18.61
Change since picked:      + 0.26
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.9 million  
Listed on  July 04, 2009         


Sears Holdings - SHLD - close: 58.13 change: -0.88 stop: 65.60

The RLX retail index managed a bounce (+0.4%) even though most of the same-store sales numbers released this morning were a disappointment. SHLD did not participate in the sector bounce, which is a good sign for the bears. Nothing has changed from my previous comments on SHLD. I suggested we open this play in two parts. Buy half your put position near $60.00 and then buy the second half if the stock bounces back into the $62.00-64.00 zone. Our first target is $55.10. Our second target is $50.50.

Picked on     July 07 at $ 59.75
Change since picked:      - 1.62
Earnings Date           08/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.2 million  
Listed on  July 07, 2009         


United Parcel Serv. - UPS - close: 48.02 change: +0.14 stop: 51.55

I am suggesting readers wait and watch for a new failed rally near $50.00 or its 200-dma before launching new positions.

Our first target to take profits is $45.50. I am setting a secondary target at $43.00. We do not want to hold over the late July earnings report.

Picked on     June 26 at $ 49.50 *triggered     
Change since picked:      - 1.48
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.2 million  
Listed on  June 17, 2009         


Weyerhaeuser - WY - close: 27.88 change: +0.20 stop: 31.51

Today's bounce was just enough to erase yesterday's losses. I am not suggesting new positions at this time but a failed rally near $30.00 could be used as an entry point. Our first target is $26.00. Our second target is $23.00. The P&F chart points to a $24 target.

Picked on     July 04 at $ 29.51
Change since picked:      - 1.63
Earnings Date           07/31/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.1 million  
Listed on  July 04, 2009         


Wynn Resorts - WYNN - close: 31.93 change: +2.02 stop: 35.25

The casino stocks were bouncing in what was probably more short covering than new bullish positions after the May gambling revenues showed that business was getting "less bad". I suspect the "less bad" news doesn't have the same punch it did several weeks ago and WYNN pared its gains by the close. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Our second target is $26.00.

Picked on     June 22 at $ 34.28
Change since picked:      - 2.35
                               /1st target hit @ 30.25 (-11.7%)
Earnings Date           07/30/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.4 million  
Listed on  June 22, 2009         


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Quest Diagnostic - DGX - close: 54.98 chg: -1.09 stop: 53.85

The action in DGX was pretty disappointing. The market staged a meager rebound and DGX under performed. Shares still have support near $54.00 but I'm not willing to bet this level will hold given the down trend in the major averages. I am suggesting an early exit now.

Chart:

Picked on     June 24 at $ 54.28
Change since picked:      + 0.70 <-- early exit (+1.2%)
Earnings Date           07/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.1 million  
Listed on  June 24, 2009         


Edwards Lifesciences - EW - close: 65.40 change: -0.69 stop: 64.85

EW broke support at $65.00 and hit our stop loss at $64.85 on an intraday basis. The longer-term trend is up but shares look like they have produced a bear-wedge pattern. Readers may want to consider put positions on a drop below the 50-dma (near 64.50).

Chart:

Picked on     June 30 at $ 68.03
Change since picked:      - 3.18<-- stopped @ 64.85 (-4.6%)
Earnings Date           07/20/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       369 thousand 
Listed on  June 30, 2009