CALL Play Updates

Fluor Corp. - FLR - close: 54.01 change: +1.21 stop: 47.45

The market continues to defy gravity and stocks rallied on the ISM data this morning. Shares of FLR look poised to breakout over resistance near $55.00. More aggressive traders may want to consider using a trigger to buy calls around the $55.50 level and target the $59-60 zone. I am still suggesting we wait for a dip. However, we will raise our suggested trigger from $48.50 to $50.50 and we'll inch up our stop loss to $47.95.

If triggered our first target is $54.80. Our second target is $59.00.

Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 50.50
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: 144.07 chg: +1.60 stop: 139.95

The dollar continues to fall to new 2009 lows and the FXE almost hit our target today with an intraday high of $144.39. I am not suggesting new bullish positions at this time.

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:      + 3.31
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       461 thousand    
Listed on  June 23, 2009         


Gold Miner ETF - GDX - close: 40.77 change: +1.00 stop: 36.90

The same dollar weakness helped fuel the rally in gold. That allowed the gold miner ETF to rally to new six-week highs. Unfortunately the gap open and the close near its open looks like indecision on the candlestick chart. If you look at the last several weeks the GDX has produced an inverse (bullish version) of the head-and-shoulders pattern and today almost qualifies as a bullish breakout.

I am not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. Wait for a dip (or bounce) near $39.00 or look for a new relative high over $41.25. GDX has already exceeded our first target. Our second target is $44.00.

Picked on     July 13 at $ 36.49 /gap higher entry
                               /originally listed at $35.93
Change since picked:      + 4.27
            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: 49.58 change: +0.24 stop: 44.95

Nothing has changed for us with IDXX. The stock is still oscillating on either side of $50.00. We are waiting for a dip 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.

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         


J.C.Penney - JCP - close: 31.36 change: +1.21 stop: 28.40

Our new bullish play on JCP has been triggered. Actually JCP gapped open (31.05) above our trigger (30.51). The stock was upgraded to an "over weight" this morning. Our first target is $32.75. Our second target is $34.90. I would be tempted to aim higher but JCP is due to report earnings on August 14th and we do not want to hold positions over the announcement. Traders should consider this a more aggressive bullish play with the market overbought. I would trade half your normal position size.

Trading note: It's very possible that JCP fills the gap so patient traders can wait for a dip back to the $30.50-30.40 zone as your entry point to buy calls.

Chart:

Picked on   August 03 at $ 31.05 *triggered /gap higher entry
Change since picked:      + 0.31
Earnings Date           08/14/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.5 million  
Listed on August 01, 2009         


Legg Mason - LM - close: 27.51 change: -0.63 stop: 23.99

Shares of LM under performed the market on Monday with a 2.2% decline. The reason appears to be a downgrade this morning. Nothing has changed for us. We are waiting for LM to correct back toward support near $25.00. Our trigger is $25.55. If triggered our first target is $29.75. Our second target is $33.40. My time frame is four to eight weeks.

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         


Lorillard Inc. - LO - close: 73.45 change: -0.27 stop: 69.45

There is no change from my prior comments on LO. We are looking for a dip back toward $70.00, which should be new support. Buy calls on a dip in the $70.50-70.00 zone. Our first target is $74.50. Our second target is $77.00.

Picked on   August xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           07/27/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.5 million  
Listed on August 01, 2009         


S&P 100 index - OEX - close: 466.27 change: +6.01 stop: 454.50 *new*

The S&P 500 continues to inch higher and it's pulling the OEX with it. The OEX hit $466.99 this afternoon. We plan to exit at $469.00. I am bumping our stop loss to $454.50. More aggressive traders may want to aim for the 480 region.

Picked on     July 30 at $458.10 *triggered              
Change since picked:      + 8.17
Earnings Date           00/00/00 
Average Daily Volume =        xx 
Listed on  July 28, 2009         


Polaris - PII - close: 38.00 change: +0.13 stop: 31.95

There is no change for our PII play. We're waiting for a correction. The plan is to buy calls at $34.15. Our first target is $37.50. Our second target is $39.90. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $43.50 target.

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: 79.51 change: +0.79 stop: 81.15

The defense sector indices participated in the market's widespread rally but ATK under performed with only a 1% gain. It feels a little dangerous to buy puts with the market in rally mode, which may not stop until the jobs report on Friday. Traders may want to wait for more relative weakness in ATK before initiating new positions. Or you may want to consider a stop loss near $80.50.

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:      + 0.63
Earnings Date           08/06/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       443 thousand 
Listed on  July 27, 2009         


Genzyme - GENZ - close: 50.38 change: -1.51 stop: 52.55

Our new put play on GENZ hit our trigger at $49.90 a lot faster than expected. UBS downgraded the stock to a "neutral" and investors reacted by sending GENZ to $49.55. The bounce back above $50.00 may be more of a product of the bullish market and short-term traders hoping for another bounce from support. Volume was pretty steep today at 11.5 million shares. I would wait for a new drop under today's low (49.55) before launching new positions but nimble traders could jump in on a failed rally under $52.00.

Our first target to take profits is $45.25. Our second target is $41.00. The P&F chart is bearish with a $40 target.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 03 at $ 49.90 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 0.48
Earnings Date           10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.9 million  
Listed on August 01, 2009         


Biotech Ishares - IBB - close: 79.16 change: +0.41 stop: 80.75

I think the bears may be in trouble. The IBB bounced from its intraday lows and shares look poised to re-challenge the $80.00 level and its recent highs tomorrow. Overall nothing has changed. Biotech and the wider market are still overbought and due for a correction but there is no law that says stocks can't get more overbought. Keep an eye on the BTK biotech index and resistance near 900. A failed rally in the 80.00-80.50 zone would be a great new entry point for puts on the IBB. Our target on the IBB is $75.50.

Picked on     July 30 at $ 79.44
Change since picked:      - 0.28
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       892 thousand 
Listed on  July 30, 2009         


LEAP Wireless - LEAP - close: 24.96 change: +1.01 stop: 27.55

LEAP delivered a nice oversold bounce today with a 4.2% gain. Look for resistance near $26.00. More conservative traders may want to lower their stops toward the $26.50 region. 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.

Picked on     July 17 at $ 26.80 *triggered    
Change since picked:      - 1.84
Earnings Date           08/06/09 (confirmed) 
Average Daily Volume =       2.2 million  
Listed on  July 16, 2009         


QQQ ProShares - QLD - close: 45.93 change: +1.35 stop: 46.55

The NASDAQ composite rallied 1.5% and managed to close over the 2,000 mark - a bullish feat. The NASDAQ-100 index (NDX) mirrored the move with a 1.5% gain but it failed to hit new highs. The QLD (double-long) gained 3% and rallied toward last week's highs. We knew this was a very speculative counter-trend bet on a possible top in the market last week. It looks like we may have been too early. Readers may want to wait for a new decline under $45.00 before considering new put positions. We want to trade very small position sizes given the aggressive nature of this play. Our target is $40.50.

Picked on     July 30 at $ 44.89 
Change since picked:      + 1.04
Earnings Date           00/00/00 
Average Daily Volume =      13.5 million  
Listed on  July 30, 2009         


VistaPrint - VPRT - close: 42.56 change: +1.31 stop: 42.05

VPRT printed out a 3.1% bounce on Monday but shares should have some short-term resistance in the $43.00-43.50 zone. We might want to jump in early with puts if the stock starts to roll over there. Currently the plan is to buy puts on a new relative low at $38.80. If triggered our first target is $35.20. Our second target is $31.50.

Picked on   August xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 38.80
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           07/30/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.3 million  
Listed on August 01, 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: 55.13 change: +0.07 stop: n/a

MCD continues to under perform but it might try produce a little oversold bounce from the $55.00 level. 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:      - 2.85
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       7.8 million  
Listed on  July 18, 2009         


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

United Technologies - UTX - close: 55.18 change: +0.71 stop: 55.05

The rally in blue chips lifted UTX past resistance near $55.00 and stopped out our put play at $55.05. If the S&P 500 didn't look so overbought I'd say it's probably time we start looking for a bullish entry point instead.

Chart:

Picked on     July 22 at $ 53.12
Change since picked:      + 1.93 <-- stopped @ 55.05 (+3.6%)
Earnings Date           07/21/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.9 million  
Listed on  July 22, 2009