Editor's Note:

Boring! Stocks have been churning sideways in a narrow range all week long. Bulls can applaud the market's resilience in holding on to its gains from the prior two weeks yet equities remain overbought and due for a correction. It's possible that the market continues to slide sideways until the GDP report announced on Friday morning.


CALL Play Updates

Fluor Corp. - FLR - close: 53.65 change: -1.32 stop: 47.45

FLR under performed the market on Wednesday with a 3.7% decline. Shares actually dipped to a low of $50.64. That was almost enough to hit our trigger but not quiet. What's odd is that I couldn't find any specific news for the sell-off. It could have been a reaction to earnings from JEC last night but JEC only lost 1.7%. If FLR is going to show this much relative weakness with the market moving sideways I'm moving our trigger point lower from $50.25 to $48.50. This is more inline with the rising trend of higher lows and definitely limits our risk more.

If triggered our first target is $54.80. Our second target is $59.00 but we may not have time. FLR is due to report earnings in less than three weeks. We do not want to hold over the announcement.

Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 48.50
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           08/10/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.4 million  
Listed on  July 25, 2009         


Euro Currency ETF - FXE - close: 140.33 chg: -1.37 stop: 139.40

The U.S. dollar produced a pretty big bounce today. This has pushed the FXE toward "support" near $140 and its 50-dma. Given our stop loss at $139.40 I would use this pull back as a new entry point. I would buy the 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:      + 0.43
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       461 thousand    
Listed on  June 23, 2009         


Gold Miner ETF - GDX - close: 37.18 change: -1.17 stop: 36.49

The same move in the dollar that pushed the FXE lower also pushed gold prices lower and that showed up in the GDX. I'm not suggesting new bullish positions in the GDX at this time. GDX has already exceeded our first target. Our second target is $42.40.

Picked on     July 13 at $ 36.49 /gap higher entry
                               /originally listed at $35.93
Change since picked:      + 0.69
            gap higher exit   /1st target hit @ 39.95 (+9.4%)
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       6.8 million  
Listed on  July 13, 2009         


IDEXX Labs - IDXX - close: 49.80 change: +0.61 stop: 44.95

Traders bought the dip in IDXX at $48.57 today. Nothing has changed for us. We're still patiently waiting for a dip toward what should be support.

The plan is to buy calls on a dip at $47.50. If triggered our first target is $52.00. Our second target is $54.90. Our time frame is four to eight weeks.

Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           07/24/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       383 thousand 
Listed on  July 25, 2009         


Legg Mason - LM - close: 27.59 change: +0.20 stop: 23.75

The brokerage stocks showed some relative strength today but overall LM is just churning sideways like the major market averages. The plan is to buy calls on the stock at $25.25 but we can really use the 25.25-24.00 zone as an entry point. If triggered our first target is $29.50. Our second target is $33.40. My time frame is four to eight weeks.

Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           07/20/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.4 million  
Listed on  July 25, 2009         


S&P 100 index - OEX - close: 455.18 change: -1.20 stop: 451.90

The sideways consolidation is narrowing just a bit, which might suggest a breakout soon. It's possible the breakout (either direction) may not happen until the Friday morning GDP report.

I'm suggesting a trigger to buy OEX calls at 458.10. If triggered our target to exit is 469.00. More aggressive traders may want to aim for the 480 region.

FYI: I listed a few alternatives to trading the OEX in the original play description from Tuesday night.

Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER @ 458.10
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           00/00/00 
Average Daily Volume =        xx 
Listed on  July 28, 2009         


Polaris - PII - close: 36.93 change: +0.02 stop: 31.45

There is no change from my prior comments on PII. We might want to raise our trigger to buy calls toward the $34.00 level but for now I am suggesting readers wait for a dip in the $33.00-32.00 zone with a tight stop at $31.45. Our first target is $37.25. Our second target is $39.50.

Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           07/16/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       436 thousand 
Listed on  July 18, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

Alliant Techsystems - ATK - close: 78.36 change: -0.38 stop: 81.15

The defense sector indices displayed a little relative strength today but ATK did not. Shares lost 0.48% and are testing technical support at their 100-dma. It is worth noting that volume was pretty strong today at 934K shares.

Our first target is $75.25. Our second target is $72.00 but we may not have time for ATK to reach $72.00. Earnings are due out on August 6th and we don't want to hold over the announcement. I'm suggesting a stop loss at $81.15. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bearish with a $62 target.

Picked on     July 27 at $ 78.88
Change since picked:      - 0.52
Earnings Date           08/06/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       443 thousand 
Listed on  July 27, 2009         


LEAP Wireless - LEAP - close: 25.34 change: -1.42 stop: 29.45

Shares of LEAP lost 5.3% as they traded down in association with larger rival Sprint Nextel (S), which lost almost 12% following a bearish earnings report.

Our first target for LEAP is $22.65. Our second target is $20.25. The $22.50 level could be strong support so I suggest readers take off most of their position there. FYI: The P&F chart is bearish with a $19.00 target.

Picked on     July 17 at $ 26.80 *triggered    
Change since picked:      - 1.46
Earnings Date           08/06/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.2 million  
Listed on  July 16, 2009         


United Technologies - UTX - close: 53.20 change: +0.76 stop: 55.05

UTX displayed some relative strength with a 1.4% gain. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time but watch for a failed rally under $54.00. Our first target to take profits is at $50.15.

Picked on     July 22 at $ 53.12
Change since picked:      + 0.08
Earnings Date           07/21/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.9 million  
Listed on  July 22, 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.)

McDonald's - MCD - close: 56.41 change: -0.06 stop: n/a

The action in MCD looks bearish with a failed rally pattern under the $57.00 level and near its 200-dma. We're not suggesting new strangle positions at this time.

I suggested the August $60 calls (MCD-HL) and the August $55 puts (MCD-TK). Our estimated cost is $1.25 (0.70 + 0.55). We want to sell if either option hits $2.75 or higher. This may take a few weeks to succeed.

Picked on     July 18 at $ 57.84
Change since picked:      - 1.43
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       7.8 million  
Listed on  July 18, 2009         


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

Nike - NKE - close: 54.37 change: +1.46 stop: 53.51

There is no reason for NKE to be showing so much strength. The consumer is cutting back. Consumer confidence is falling. Analysts are worried about the back-to-school sales season. Yet shares have out performed the market these last few days and today saw NKE break through resistance near $53.50 and its 50-dma. We could blame a better than expected earnings report from Under Armour (UA) but UA is a relatively new contestant in the sports apparel and shoe business compared to a giant in the industry like NKE. Our put play has been closed.

Chart:

Picked on     July 23 at $ 51.14
Change since picked:      + 2.37<-- stopped @ 53.51 (+4.6%)
Earnings Date           09/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.8 million  
Listed on  July 23, 2009