CALL Play Updates

Fluor Corp. - FLR - close: 51.52 change: -2.51 stop: 49.45

We have been waiting for a correction in FLR toward its rising trendline of support and we listed a trigger to buy calls at $51.00. That trigger was hit today. There is a decent chance that FLR will trade down toward $50.00. Readers still looking for an entry point could wait for that dip. Our first target is $54.80. Our second target is $59.00. This could take several weeks.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 17 at $ 51.00 *triggered            
Change since picked:      + 0.52
Earnings Date           08/10/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.4 million  
Listed on  July 25, 2009         


Genesse & Wyoming - GWR - close: 28.65 change: -0.65 stop: 26.90

The sell-off in the railroads (-3.3%) almost kept pace with the weakness in the overall transportation index (-3.5%). Shares of GWR only lost 2.2%. Considering today's market action readers may want to wait for a drop toward the $27.50 level before initiating new call positions. An alternative would be to wait for a rise over $30.00 before launching positions. Our first target is $32.90. Our second target is $34.75.

FYI: The plan was to use small position sizes to limit our risk.

Picked on   August 15 at $ 28.66 /gap down entry
                               /originally listed at $29.30
Change since picked:      - 0.01
Earnings Date           11/03/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       230 thousand
Listed on August 15, 2009         


IDEXX Labs - IDXX - close: 49.71 change: -0.72 stop: $44.95

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


*Original Strategy*
Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGERs @ 47.50 
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: 26.86 change: -0.85 stop: 24.75

LM is starting to pull back as well. The plan is to buy calls at $26.00 but readers may want to try and wait for a dip closer to $25.00 instead. More aggressive traders might want to widen their stop just a bit to give LM a little more room. If triggered our first target is $29.75. Our second target is $33.40. My time frame is six to eight weeks. FYI: The P&F chart is bullish with a $39 target.

Picked on     July xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER 26.00
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: 72.58 change: +0.20 stop: 69.45

LO displayed some relative strength. Tobacco and cigarette companies are typically seen as "safe haven" trades when the market gets weak but they're not immune to a market sell-off. We have a trigger to buy calls at $70.50. Our first target is $74.50. Our second target is $77.00. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $92.00 target.

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         


U.S. Oil Fund - USO - close: 35.52 change: -0.51 stop: 33.30

Crude oil has continued to correct thanks to strength in the U.S. dollar. The USO gapped down at the open but pared its losses to close with a 1.4% loss. Our plan was to buy calls at $34.50. I am inching that lower to buy calls at $34.25. Our first target is $37.50.

Picked on   August xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 34.25
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =      11.5 million  
Listed on August 15, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

First Solar - FSLR - close: 134.43 chg: -7.35 stop: 151.00

It looks like we weren't the only ones who thought FSLR looked like a short. Credit Suisse came out today with a call to short FSLR. The stock gapped open lower at $135.88 so it's not the best entry point. If you are still looking for an entry then consider waiting for an oversold bounce toward the $138-140 zone and buy puts there.

We have two targets. Our first target is $122.50. Our second target is $111.00. This is a very aggressive trade and FSLR can be an extremely volatile stock. I'm suggesting very small position sizes. FYI: the Point & Figure chart is bearish with a $108 target.

Chart:

Picked on   August 17 at $135.88 *triggered/gap down entry
Change since picked:      - 1.45
Earnings Date           11/03/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.5 million  
Listed on August 15, 2009         


Genzyme - GENZ - close: 50.32 change: -0.27 stop: 52.55

I have to issue a warning on GENZ. The stock did not participate in the market's sell-off today. We don't want to see this sort of relative strength in our put candidates. The weekly and daily chart's trends are down but the action over the last few days has turned more bullish. More conservative traders may want to seriously consider an early exit right now. You can re-enter on a failed rally pattern or a new drop under $49.00. The BTK biotech index lost 2.7% and GENZ lost 0.5%. That's a warning sign. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

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.

FYI: More aggressive traders may want to give GENZ just a little bit more room and raise their stop loss above the $53.00 mark.

Picked on   August 03 at $ 49.90 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 0.42
Earnings Date           10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.9 million  
Listed on August 01, 2009         


Green Mtn Coffee - GMCR - close: 58.45 chg: -4.92 stop: 66.55 *new*

Target achieved. GMCR broke down sharply falling through support at its 50-dma and the $60.00 level. Our first target to take profits was at $60.50. Our second and final target is at $55.50. I'm lowering our stop loss to $66.55.

Chart:

Picked on   August 11 at $ 65.84
Change since picked:      - 7.38
                              /1st target hit @ 60.50 (-8.1%)
Earnings Date           11/12/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.8 million  
Listed on August 11, 2009         


Intl.Business Machines - IBM - cls: 116.86 change: -1.71 stop: 120.10

IBM appears to have broken down from its sideways trading range. Our first target to take profits is at $113.75, which is just above the top of the gap from mid July. Our second and final target is $111.25, which is near the bottom of the gap.

Picked on   August 08 at $118.17 /gap down entry
                               /originally listed at $119.33
Change since picked:      - 1.31
Earnings Date           10/08/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       7.9 million  
Listed on August 08, 2009         


Intercontintental Exchange - ICE - cls: 87.04 change: -3.45 stop: 92.55 *new*

ICE has finally broken support at the $90.00 level with some conviction. The low today was $85.08. I am lowering our stop loss to $92.55.

ICE can be a very volatile stock so we should consider this an aggressive trade. Our target to exit is $83.75. More aggressive traders can aim lower.

Picked on   August 08 at $ 93.60 Buy Half Now   
Change since picked:      - 6.56

Picked on   August 13 at $ 89.85 triggered 2nd half
Change since picked:      - 2.81

Earnings Date           10/29/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.1 million  
Listed on August 08, 2009         


Marvel Entertainment - MVL - close: 37.76 change: -0.97 stop: 39.26 *new*

Our put play on MVL is now open. Shares broke support near $38.00 and hit our trigger at $37.90. MVL also broke down under its 50-dma. Our target is $34.10 as the $34.00 level could be support. I am lowering the stop loss to $39.26.

Chart:

Picked on   August 17 at $ 37.90 *triggered         
Change since picked:      - 0.14
Earnings Date           11/04/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       710 thousand 
Listed on August 10, 2009         


Shanda Interactive - SNDA - close: 45.40 chg: -0.87 stop: 51.25

SNDA plunged to new four-month lows at $43.78 but managed to find support at its exponential 200-dma. The stock pared its losses and closed down 1.8%. I would expect an oversold bounce from here. Readers could use another failed rally near $49.00 as an entry point. Our target is the $41.50-40.00 zone. Remember, SNDA is a volatile stock and readers may want to use smaller position sizes.

Picked on   August 08 at $ 48.10 /gap higher entry
                               /originally listed at $47.83
Change since picked:      - 2.70
Earnings Date           09/01/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.5 million  
Listed on August 08, 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: 54.50 change: -0.77 stop: n/a

MCD is breaking down to new lows. The $55.00 put is now technically in the money. It will only take some follow through and we should score on this trade. I am 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 $2.00 or higher.

Picked on     July 18 at $ 57.84
Change since picked:      - 3.34
Earnings Date           07/23/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       7.8 million  
Listed on  July 18, 2009         


Schlumberger - SLB - close: 51.30 change: -2.08 stop: n/a

Our SLB strangle didn't quite go as planned. We were expecting a break out from its technical pattern but were not expecting a gap down. Shares opened at $52.00. The Sep. 60 call opened at .40 and the Sep. 45 put opened at .60. Our estimated cost is $1.00.

The options we suggested were the September $60.00 calls (SLB-IL) and the September $45.00 puts (SLB-UI). Our estimated cost is now $1.00 and we want to sell if either option hits $2.50 or higher. I am not suggesting new strangles at this time.

Picked on   August 15 at $ 52.00 /gap down entry Aug. 17th
Change since picked:      - 0.70
Earnings Date           10/15/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       9.2 million  
Listed on August 15, 2009         


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

C.H.Robinson - CHRW - close: 53.78 change: -0.99 stop: 53.49*new*

We raised our stop loss on CHRW over the weekend to reduce our risk. Shares lost 1.8% on Monday, which is about half what the transportation sector index lost (-3.5%). Yet the intraday low in CHRW was enough to hit our stop at $53.49 closing the play. Last week's breakout over resistance is indeed starting to look like a bull trap pattern.

Chart:

Picked on   August 12 at $ 55.35 *triggered       
Change since picked:      - 1.86<-- stopped @ 53.49 (-3.3%)
Earnings Date           10/20/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.7 million  
Listed on August 11, 2009         


Diamond Offshore - DO - close: 84.49 change: -3.14 stop: 86.49

Crude oil was hammered again on Monday thanks to a rally in the U.S. dollar. This drop in oil weighed heavily on the oil service stocks and DO actually gapped open lower at $85.01 and eventually closed with a 3.5% loss. The gap down was painful since our stop loss was at $86.49. The play was closed at the open.

Chart:

Picked on   August 13 at $ 90.24
Change since picked:      - 5.23<--gap down exit @85.01 (-5.7%)
Earnings Date           10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.3 million  
Listed on August 13, 2009         


Euro Currency ETF - FXE - close: 140.79 chg: -1.07 stop: 139.95

I am suggesting an early exit on the FXE. The dollar is showing too much strength these days. We can revisit this strategy once we see the dollar begin to roll over again.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on     June 23 at $140.76
Change since picked:      + 0.03 <-- exit early (+0.0%)
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       461 thousand    
Listed on  June 23, 2009         


Gold Miner ETF - GDX - close: 37.30 change: -1.91 stop: 37.85

I've been growing more cautious on gold and the miners so we raised our stop loss over the weekend. Strength in the U.S. dollar sent gold lower and that had an impact on the GDX. Shares of the GDX gapped open lower at $37.56, which was under our new stop at $37.85 so the play was closed immediately. GDX had already exceeded our first target.

Chart:

Picked on     July 13 at $ 36.49 /gap higher entry
                               /originally listed at $35.93
Change since picked:      + 1.07 <-- stopped @ 37.56(gap down +2.9%)
            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         


Mobile Telesys - MBT - close: 41.52 change: -1.48 stop: 41.90

Our aggressive trade on MBT did not pan out. This ended up as a worst case scenario with shares gapping open above our trigger to buy calls and then immediately reversing. The very next trading day shares gapped open lower under our stop loss.

Overseas markets were weak and when MBT began trading here in the states the stock gapped open lower at $41.57. This was below our stop loss at $41.90 so the play was closed immediately. We can probably look for MBT to dip toward the $37.50 region.

Chart:

Picked on   August 14 at $ 45.49 /gap higher entry  
Change since picked:      - 3.92 <-- gap down exit @ 41.57 (-8.6%)
Earnings Date           08/12/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =      1.45 million  
Listed on August 13, 2009         


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

Biotech Ishares - IBB - close: 75.19 change: -1.30 stop: 80.75

Target achieved. IBB gapped open lower at $75.23 and quickly hit our target to exit at $75.10. The $75.00 level was broken resistance so it should be short-term support.

Chart:

Picked on     July 30 at $ 79.44
Change since picked:      - 4.34<--target hit @ 75.10 (-5.4%)
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       892 thousand 
Listed on  July 30, 2009