CALL Play Updates

Fluor Corp. - FLR - close: 52.80 change: +0.24 stop: 47.45

I was hoping the GDP report would help spark some profit taking but unfortunately that didn't happen. FLR merely churned sideways. Earnings are coming up on August 10th and that doesn't give us much time. If we don't see a correction in FLR on Monday or Tuesday I'll have to drop it as a candidate until after its earnings report. More aggressive traders might want to consider buying calls on a dip or a bounce near $50.00 (with a tighter stop). Right now I'm suggesting readers wait for a dip to $48.50.

If triggered our first target is $54.80.

Suggested Options:
If FLR hits our trigger at $48.50 I would buy the August calls.

Annotated Chart:

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


Euro Currency ETF - FXE - close: 142.47 chg: +1.87 stop: 139.95 *new*

The U.S. dollar was crushed today with the dollar falling to new 2009 lows. This lifted the FXE to a 1.3% gain. The euro ETF is now testing resistance near $143. I am raising our stop loss to $139.95. Our first target is $144.50. Our second target is $148.50. The P&F chart is bullish with a $168 target.

Suggested Options:
I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     June 23 at $140.76
Change since picked:      + 1.71
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       461 thousand    
Listed on  June 23, 2009         


Gold Miner ETF - GDX - close: 39.76 change: +1.60 stop: 36.90 *new*

If the dollar continues to fall it will be a bullish boost for gold futures and that should help the miners. The GDX filled the gap from July 28th and is testing round-number resistance near $40.00. If you look at the last six weeks the GDX appears to have built an inverse head-and-shoulders pattern. A breakout over $41.00 can be used as a new bullish entry point although you'll probably want a higher stop (above our new stop).

I am raising our stop loss to $36.90. GDX has already exceeded our first target. I am raising our second target to $44.00.

Suggested Options:
I'm not suggesting new call positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     July 13 at $ 36.49 /gap higher entry
                               /originally listed at $35.93
Change since picked:      + 3.27
            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: 49.82 change: -0.47 stop: 44.95

The rally in IDXX ran out of steam today. Unfortunately we are still waiting for a correction toward 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.

Suggested Options:
if IDXX hits our trigger I would buy the September or October calls. I prefer the $45, 50 or $55 strikes.

Annotated Chart:

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: 28.14 change: -0.61 stop: 23.99 *new*

Shares of LM were downgraded twice this morning, once to a "sell" and yet the worst the bears could do was a 2.1% drop. We are waiting for LM to correct back toward support near $25.00. Please note that I'm upping our trigger to buy calls from $25.25 to $25.55. We're changing the stop loss to $23.99. If triggered our first target is $29.75. Our second target is $33.40. My time frame is four to eight weeks.

Suggested Options:
If LM hits our trigger at $25.75 we want to buy the September calls. I suggest the $25, 27, or $30 strikes. Strikes are available at $1.00 increments.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER 25.55
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: 460.26 change: +0.20 stop: 451.90

Stocks may have closed higher but not by much. I hesitate to launch new positions here but another dip and bounce in the $452-458 zone can be used as a new entry point to buy calls here.

Our target to exit is 469.00. More aggressive traders may want to aim for the 480 region.

Suggested Options:
If the OEX provides a new entry point I'd buy the August calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     July 30 at $458.10 *triggered              
Change since picked:      + 2.16
Earnings Date           00/00/00 
Average Daily Volume =        xx 
Listed on  July 28, 2009         


Polaris - PII - close: 37.87 change: -0.63 stop: 31.95 *new*

I am upping our trigger point to buy calls from $33.00 to $34.15. We'll raise the stop loss to $31.95. Our first target is $37.50. Our second target is $39.90. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $43.50 target.

Suggested Options:
If PII hits our new trigger to buy calls at $34.15 we want to use the September calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 34.15
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: 78.72 change: -0.68 stop: 81.15

ATK continues to look bearish. The stock has produced a failed rally near $80.00 and under its 30-dma. I would still buy puts right here. I'm leaving the stop at $81.15 but more conservative traders may want to consider a stop near $80.50 instead.

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.

Suggested Options:
Earnings are coming up soon so we want to use the August puts. The plan is to exit before the earnings report.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     July 27 at $ 78.88
Change since picked:      - 0.16
Earnings Date           08/06/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       443 thousand 
Listed on  July 27, 2009         


Biotech Ishares - IBB - close: 78.75 change: -0.69 stop: 80.75

The biotech sector did not show any strength on Friday. This group continues to look extremely overbought and poised for more profit taking. I would still consider buying puts on the IBB here. Our target on the IBB is $75.50.

FYI: Keep an eye on the BTK biotech index, which is fading under resistance near the 900 level and its August 2008 highs.

Suggested Options:
I am suggesting the August $80 or $75 puts.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     July 30 at $ 79.44
Change since picked:      - 0.69
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       892 thousand 
Listed on  July 30, 2009         


LEAP Wireless - LEAP - close: 23.95 change: +0.42 stop: 27.55

LEAP dialed up an oversold bounce and gained 1.7% on Friday. The larger trend is still very bearish but I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

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.

Suggested Options:
I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     July 17 at $ 26.80 *triggered    
Change since picked:      - 2.85
Earnings Date           08/06/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.2 million  
Listed on  July 16, 2009         


QQQ ProShares - QLD - close: 44.58 change: -0.31 stop: 46.55

I want to remind readers that this is a very aggressive, higher-risk put play. The market's trend is still up. There was no profit taking on the GDP report. The next event traders will key in on is the August 7th jobs report. Can the rally make it to Friday? I don't know. I'd still speculate on a correction but you'll want to use very small position sizes. Our target is $40.50.

Suggested Options:
I am suggesting the August puts. Strikes are available at $1.00 increments.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     July 30 at $ 44.89 
Change since picked:      - 0.31
Earnings Date           00/00/00 
Average Daily Volume =      13.5 million  
Listed on  July 30, 2009         


United Technologies - UTX - close: 54.47 change: +0.24 stop: 55.05

The fact that UTX did not breakout over resistance near $55.00 is good news but short-term it looks like the bulls are in control. This is probably a low-risk entry point given our stop at $55.05 but if there is any market strength on Monday we'll probably get stopped out. Our first target to take profits is at $50.15.

Suggested Options:
This should be a fast play so I'm suggesting the August puts.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     July 22 at $ 53.12
Change since picked:      + 1.11
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: 55.06 change: -0.53 stop: n/a

MCD was the worst performing stock in the Dow Industrials for the month of July. Yesterday's failed rally has turned into a new eight-week low on above average volume. Nimble traders might want to consider directional put plays. 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.

Suggested Options:
No new strangle plays at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     July 18 at $ 57.84
Change since picked:      - 2.78
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       7.8 million  
Listed on  July 18, 2009