CALL Play Updates

Euro Currency ETF - FXE - close: 139.95 chg: +0.50 stop: 137.90

Weakness in the U.S. dollar helped lift the FXE to a minor gain but both are still stuck in a trading range. The path of least resistance for the dollar should be down so I remain bullish on the FXE. I would still consider new bullish positions in the $139.00-141.00 zone.

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:      - 0.81
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       461 thousand    
Listed on  June 23, 2009         


UltraShort SP& 500 - SDS - cls: 57.30 chg: -2.95 stop: 55.90

The Meredith Whitney upgrade of Goldman Sachs and her comments about the financials sparked a huge rally in the banking stocks. This fueled a strong move in the S&P 500 but the trend is still down. I would buy calls in the SDS on this dip or we can wait for a bounce near $56.00.

Due to this inverse ETF's volatility 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:      - 3.20
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =        40 million  
Listed on  July 07, 2009         


Ultra-Short REIT - SRS - close: 20.92 change: -1.83 stop: 19.45

The market's sharp rally produced an equally sharp move in the SRS. I remain bullish and would use this pull back as a new entry point to buy calls. This ETF can be somewhat volatile so I'm using a wide stop loss at $19.45. I suggest readers only trade half or less than their normal position size. Our first target is $26.00. Our second target is $29.50.

Picked on     July 09 at $ 22.67
Change since picked:      - 1.75
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =      27.8 million  
Listed on  July 09, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

Agrium Inc. - AGU - close: 37.00 change: +0.72 stop: 40.05

AGU delivered an oversold bounce. I don't see any changes from my weekend comments. 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:      - 1.75
Earnings Date           07/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       4.2 million  
Listed on  June 30, 2009         


Core Labs - CLB - close: 81.82 change: +2.83 stop: 85.25

CLB has been showing a lot of volatility lately. Oil and oil services stocks have been bouncing even though crude oil continues to sink. Oil dipped again today and yet CLB soared from its lows near $78.00 and produced a bullish engulfing (reversal) candlestick pattern with today's gain. I doubt that today's out performance is related to news that CLB is issuing a special 75-cent cash dividend at the end of this month.

So technically CLB has produced a bullish reversal but it needs confirmation. More conservative traders may want to lower their stops toward breakeven anyway. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

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:      - 1.34
                              /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: 48.53 change: -2.48 stop: 53.55 *new*

Target exceeded. CMP was downgraded this morning and the stock gapped down to open at $49.50 and then plunged to $45.64. Our first target to take profits was $47.50. I'm lowering the stop loss to $53.55. Watch for the oversold bounce to fail in the $50-52 zone. Our second target is $43.00.

Chart:

Picked on     July 06 at $ 52.25 *triggered     
Change since picked:      - 3.72
                               /1st target hit @ 47.50 (-9.0%)
Earnings Date           07/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       792 thousand 
Listed on  June 29, 2009         


Costco - COST - close: 44.97 change: -0.00 stop: 46.10

COST is trading sideways but bears could point out that shares did not participate with the market's rally today. We are still waiting for a breakdown under support at $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: 89.94 change: +0.32 stop: 92.65

ESI managed a bounce off its intraday lows but shares failed to reclaim the $90.00 level and pretty much failed at participating in the market's widespread bounce today. I'm still bearish here. Our first target is $81.00. We do not want to hold over the late July earnings report.

Picked on     July 09 at $ 88.99 *triggered     
Change since picked:      + 0.95
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       902 thousand 
Listed on  July 08, 2009         


Freeport McMoran - FCX - close: 47.91 change: +1.27 stop: 50.51

This is the second time in less than a week that FCX has bounced at its 100-dma. Is this a new bottom? Was the breakdown from the bearish head-and-shoulders pattern a fake out? The stock continues to have short-term resistance near $48 and $50 so wait for the failed rally under $50.00 before considering new bearish positions. 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:      - 0.01
                               /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: 66.28 change: +1.15 stop: 68.15 *new*

We've been expecting the oversold bounce. LLL Is now testing short-term resistance at the 10-dma. If it can rise from here look for additional resistance near $68.00. I'm 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:      - 5.47
                               /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: 29.39 change: +2.03 stop: 30.35

Financial stocks were the leaders on Monday thanks to positive analyst comments. MET soared 7.4% and broke through technical resistance at its 200-dma and through rice resistance near $29.00. Wait for this bounce to fail/roll-over under $30.00 before considering new bearish positions. Our first target is $25.25. Our second target is $21.75.

Picked on     July 04 at $ 28.04
Change since picked:      + 1.35
Earnings Date           07/30/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       7.4 million  
Listed on  July 04, 2009         


Mosaic - MOS - close: 42.46 change: +1.33 stop: 45.05

MOS is still trying to bounce from the $39.50-40.00 zone. Wait for this move to roll over under the $44.00-45.00 zone before considering new bearish positions. More conservative trades may want to wait for a new decline under Friday's low of $39.64 to open position. This is an aggressive trade because MOS and the sector can be so volatile. Our first target is $35.50. We do not want to hold over the July 22nd (unconfirmed) earnings report.

Picked on     July 11 at $ 41.13
Change since picked:      + 1.33
Earnings Date           07/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       6.8 million  
Listed on  July 11, 2009         


NII Holdings - NIHD - close: 19.33 change: +0.90 stop: 20.10

Uh-oh! We have reason to worry about NIHD. Today's 4.8% gain is a bullish breakout over technical resistance at its 200-dma and above its three-week trendline of lower highs. More conservative traders may want to abandon ship right now or lower your stop to $19.50 like I suggested over the weekend. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Our first target is $16.15.

Picked on     July 04 at $ 18.61
Change since picked:      + 0.72
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.9 million  
Listed on  July 04, 2009         


Sears Holdings - SHLD - close: 57.59 change: +0.24 stop: 64.25

It looks like SHLD could bounce from here. The stock hit $55.35 and rallied off its lows. Another 25 cents and SHLD would have hit our target. Wait for the bounce to roll over under resistance near $60.00 or the $62.00 level. Our first target is $55.10. Our second target is $50.50.

Picked on     July 07 at $ 59.75
Change since picked:      - 2.16
Earnings Date           08/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.2 million  
Listed on  July 07, 2009         


United Parcel Serv. - UPS - close: 49.42 change: +0.85 stop: 51.55

It looks like UPS will retest overhead resistance near $50.00 or its 200-dma currently at 50.63. Wait for this rebound to fail before considering 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:      - 0.08
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.2 million  
Listed on  June 17, 2009         


Weyerhaeuser - WY - close: 29.09 change: +1.12 stop: 31.51

After last week's consolidation near $28.00 we were expecting a bounce. Wait for WY to run into resistance near $30.00 before considering new positions. 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:      - 0.42
Earnings Date           07/31/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.1 million  
Listed on  July 04, 2009         


Wynn Resorts - WYNN - close: 32.31 change: +1.33 stop: 35.25

If this bounce can continue we might get another chance to buy puts near the $34.00-35.00 zone again. I'm not suggesting new positions at this moment. WYNN has already exceeded our first target at $30.25. Our second target is $26.00.

Picked on     June 22 at $ 34.28
Change since picked:      - 1.97
                               /1st target hit @ 30.25 (-11.7%)
Earnings Date           07/30/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.4 million  
Listed on  June 22, 2009         


Strangle & Spread Play Updates

*Currently we do not have any Strangle or Spread play updates*


CLOSED STRANGLE & SPREAD PLAYS

Goldman Sachs - GS - close: 149.44 change: +7.57 stop: n/a

We are going to have to cancel our strangle play for GS' earnings report. Over the weekend the latest data we had listed their earnings report after the closing bell on Tuesday. As of today their release was moved up to Tuesday morning before the bell. Anyone who read the OptionInvestor.com intraday update got a chance to open a strangle at Monday's closing bell instead. The stock rallied straight toward resistance at $150.00 offering a great entry point for the strangle strategy. The big 5.3% gain today was fueled by positive comments from influential Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney.

Since GS will report earnings before the rest of us have a chance to open strangles I'm dropping GS as a strangle play. However, I strongly suspect that investors will sell the news no matter how good GS' earnings results are but the stock might spike first and then reverse lower. Nimble traders can look for a failed rally near $160 if the stock gets that high as an entry point to buy puts... this would be a very short-term trade.

Chart:

Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- cancelled trade, never opened
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           07/14/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =      10.8 million  
Listed on  July 11, 2009