CALL Play Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 165.29 change: -2.91 stop: 163.40

Analysts and most investors are still bullish on AAPL and many are expecting a new iPod model to be launched soon. Yet that's not going to stop traders from taking profits with the market down sharply. AAPL gave up 1.7% and is now testing short-term support at $165.00 again. If there is any follow through by the market tomorrow we will most likely be stopped out at $163.40. I am not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. We'll see if stocks can hold up on Wednesday. Our first target is $174.00. Our second target is $179.00. FYI: The P&F chart points to a $231 target.

Picked on   August 26 at $166.50 *(small positions 1/2 to 1/4)
Change since picked:      - 1.21
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        14 million  
Listed on August 25, 2009         


Allegheny Tech. - ATI - close: 29.27 change: -1.10 stop: 27.95

Material and commodity-related stocks were rattled today over concerns about China and a rising U.S. dollar. ATI broke down under the $30.00 level, which is bearish. More conservative traders may want to exit early or tighten their stops. If there is any follow through lower by the market tomorrow we'll probably get stopped out.

Our first target is $34.50. Our second target is $39.00. Time frame on the first target is only two or three weeks. The $39 target could take several weeks.

Picked on   August 31 at $ 30.25 *triggered         
Change since picked:      - 0.98
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.7 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


EOG Res. Inc. - EOG - close: 70.62 change: -1.38 stop: 69.90

Oil is contracting thanks in part to the rising dollar and general profit taking. EOG closed under its 50-dma, which is bearish but still closed above its 100-dma and the $70.00 mark, which should offer some support. If the market continues to show weakness tomorrow we will probably get stopped out at $69.90.

Our first target is $79.50. Our second target is $88.00. The daily chart is building an inverse H&S pattern that is forecasting a rally toward $100.

*The plan was to trade small from the beginning to cutting our position in half now should leave us with a very small position.

Picked on   August 26 at $ 73.25 /gap down entry point 
                               /listed at $73.98
Change since picked:      - 2.63
Earnings Date           11/03/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.4 million  
Listed on August 22, 2009         


FISERV Inc. - FISV - close: 47.55 change: -0.70 stop: 46.60

The action in FISV this morning looks bearish with traders selling the early morning bounce pretty hard. More conservative traders may want to exit early. I'm suggesting we hold on since the $47.00 level was decent support in August and FISV still has the rising 50-dma to help it. Look for a bounce before initiating new positions. Our first target to take profit is at $52.50. I'm setting a second target to exit completely at $54.00.

Picked on   August 21 at $ 48.60 *triggered         
Change since picked:      - 1.05
Earnings Date           10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.5 million  
Listed on August 19, 2009         


Goldman Sachs - GS - close: 165.46 change: +1.04 stop: 159.00

There's a lot of people watching GS for leadership and today's failed rally at resistance near $166.00 could be a signal for the bears. Readers may want to consider some speculative out of the money puts just in case GS does drop toward the $150 level, which is where it should find some support.

Right now our plan to buy a breakout is still in place. I'm suggesting readers open small call positions (smaller than our normal trade size) at $166.75. If triggered our first target is $179.00. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $228 target.

Picked on   August xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 166.75
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           10/13/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       8.8 million  
Listed on August 29, 2009         


Genesse & Wyoming - GWR - close: 30.33 change: -1.05 stop: 28.90

GWR finally gave into some profit taking after the morning rally failed at $32.00. Shares are testing round-number support at $30.00 and could easily see a dip to $29.00. Wait for the bounce before considering new bullish 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:      + 1.68
Earnings Date           11/03/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       230 thousand
Listed on August 15, 2009         


Grainger W.W. - GWW - close: 86.28 change: -1.19 stop: 84.75

GWW's pull back dipped to its 50-dma and the $85.65 level. Our trigger to buy calls was hit at $86.00. If you did not open positions yet I'd wait for a bounce considering the market's bearish tone this week. Our first target is $93.50. Our second target is $97.50.

Chart:

Picked on September 1 at $ 86.00 *triggered  
Change since picked:      + 0.28
Earnings Date           10/14/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       635 thousand 
Listed on August 22, 2009         


Legg Mason - LM - close: 26.78 change: -1.98 stop: 25.95 *new*

The broker-dealers were some of the worst performers today and LM was right out in front with a terrible 6.8% decline. Shares should find support at the long-term trendline of support and its 50-dma at $26.40. Our stop loss is currently at $26.40 and that's too tight. I'm adjusting our stop loss to $25.95. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. The plan was to use small position sizes.

Our first target is $32.45. Our second target is $34.85. FYI: The P&F chart is bullish with a $39 target.

Picked on   August 28 at $ 29.50 *triggered               
Change since picked:      - 2.72
Earnings Date           07/20/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.4 million  
Listed on  July 25, 2009         


Mettler Toledo - MTD - close: 86.41 change: -0.99 stop: 84.99

MTD produced another new high and another new failed rally. More conservative traders may want to exit early now or raise their stops toward the $86.00 level. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Our first target is $93.50. Our second target is $99.00. I am labeling this an aggressive play because volume is pretty light for this stock.

Picked on   August 27 at $ 88.50 *triggered  (1/4 normal size)
Change since picked:      - 2.09
Earnings Date           11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       234 thousand 
Listed on August 22, 2009         


Newmarket Corp. - NEU - close: 80.95 change: -2.17 stop: 79.00

NEU followed the markets higher this morning and lower midday. The stock is testing support near $80.00 and shares have hit our trigger to buy the second half of our call position at $80.50. If you're not comfortable buying the dip then wait for a bounce from the $80 level or wait for a bounce over $82.00 again.

Our first target to take profits is at $88.50. Our second and final target is $92.50. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $116.00 target.

Picked on   August 24 at $ 84.33 <- buy half now 8/24/09
                    /originally listed at $83.54, gapped higher @ 84.33
Change since picked:      - 3.38

Picked on September 1 at $ 80.50 *triggered 2nd half
Change since picked:      + 0.45
Earnings Date           10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       141 thousand 
Listed on August 24, 2009         


Occidental Petrol. - OXY - close: 72.23 change: -0.87 stop: 69.45

OXY held up reasonably well but if the market continues to correct we can expect OXY to follow it lower. OXY might see another dip near $70.00 and I'd use a bounce from $70 as our next entry point. Our first target is $77.00. Our second target is $79.85.

Picked on   August 27 at $ 72.00 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 0.23
Earnings Date           10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.0 million  
Listed on August 26, 2009         


PPG Inds. Inc. - PPG - close: 54.08 change: -1.32 stop: 52.95

PPG's close under $55.00 and its 30-dma is short-term bearish. If the market keeps falling PPG will probably hit our stop loss tomorrow. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Our first target is $59.80.

Picked on   August 28 at $ 55.65
Change since picked:      - 1.57
Earnings Date           10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.6 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


State Street (Bank) STT - close: 50.14 change: -2.34 stop: 49.45

Banking stocks led the sell-off on Tuesday with the BIX and BKX banking indices down 5.2% and 5.7%, respectively. STT gave up 4.4% and plunged to short-term, round-number support at $50.00. A bounce from here would be a new bullish entry point. If stocks keep falling we should be stopped out pretty quickly at $49.45.

Our first target is $55.00. Our second target is $59.80. Currently the Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $62 target.

Picked on   August 31 at $ 52.00 
Change since picked:      - 1.86
Earnings Date           10/13/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.3 million  
Listed on August 19, 2009         


United Health - UNH - close: 27.33 change: -0.67 stop: 27.49

We are still on the sidelines with UNH. The plan is to buy a breakout with a trigger at $30.55. However, we might want to reconsider and buy calls if UNH finds support near $26.00. If triggered our first target to take profits is $34.50. Our second target is $37.50. My time frame is about eight weeks.

Picked on   August xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 30.55
Change since picked:      + 0.00
Earnings Date           10/20/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       9.2 million  
Listed on August 29, 2009         


U.S. Oil Fund - USO - close: 35.27 change: -0.78 stop: 34.49

Our more aggressive entry point at $36.50 is not paying off. We should have held out for the dip toward USO's longer-term trendline of support near the 100-dma. That's where this ETF is headed. If we see the USO bounce from this level I'd use it as a new entry point for calls. Our first target to take profits is at $39.95.

Picked on   August 31 at $ 36.50 
Change since picked:      - 1.23
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =      11.5 million  
Listed on August 15, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

First Solar - FSLR - close: 114.98 chg: -6.60 stop: 131.00 *new*

FSLR is sinking to new relative lows. The stock lost 5.4% today and is now within striking distance of our final target at $111.00. I'm lowering our stop loss to $131.00. More aggressive traders may want to aim for the $100.00 level. FSLR has already hit our first target at $122.50.

Picked on   August 17 at $135.88 *triggered/gap down entry
Change since picked:      -20.90
                               /1st target hit @ 122.50 (-9.8%)
Earnings Date           11/03/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.5 million  
Listed on August 15, 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.)

Research In Motion - RIMM - close: 73.54 chg: +0.48 stop: n/a

The action in RIMM is definitely growing more bearish with another failed rally today. Our entry zone to launch new strangles is the $74.50-75.50 range. The options suggested were the September $80 calls (RFY-IP) and the September $70 puts (RFY-UN). Our estimated cost was $2.64. We want to sell if either option hits $6.00 or higher.

Picked on   August 25 at $ 75.56
Change since picked:      - 2.02
Earnings Date           09/24/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =      11.7 million  
Listed on August 25, 2009         


Schlumberger - SLB - close: 54.91 change: -1.29 stop: n/a

SLB is slipping back to support in the $55-54 zone. I am not suggesting new strangle positions at this time but readers might want to consider directional call plays.

The options we suggested were the September $60.00 calls (SLB-IL) and the September $45.00 puts (SLB-UI). Our estimated cost is $1.00 and we want to sell if either option hits $2.50 or higher.

Picked on   August 15 at $ 52.00 /gap down entry Aug. 17th
Change since picked:      + 4.20
Earnings Date           10/15/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       9.2 million  
Listed on August 15, 2009         


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

CF Industries - CF - close: 80.00 change: -1.66 stop: 79.75

I am dropping CF as a bullish candidate. The stock produced a bearish reversal today and looks poised to breakdown under $80 soon. While the new direction looks down I wouldn't buy puts. CF could have a lot of support with a cloud of moving averages between $80 and $75. If it breaks $75 then I might consider bearish trades. The stock never hit our bullish trigger to buy calls at $85.25.

Chart:

Picked on   August xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER 85.25
Change since picked:      + 0.00               *never opened*
Earnings Date           10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       872 thousand 
Listed on August 24, 2009         


Fluor Corp. - FLR - close: 51.48 change: -1.42 stop: 49.95

FLR still has potential support at $50.00 but today's action looks bearish. The stock's weakness pushed shares under their 50-dma and closed under the long-term trendline of support. I am suggesting an early exit now. Keep FLR on your watch list for a bounce from the 100-dma.

Chart:

Picked on   August 17 at $ 51.00 *triggered            
Change since picked:      + 0.48 <-- exit early @ 51.48 (-0.009%)
                           /1st target exceeded @ 55.10 gap open (+8.0%)
Earnings Date           08/10/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.4 million  
Listed on  July 25, 2009         


Flowserve - FLS - close: 82.81 change: -3.44 stop: 84.75

FLS suffered two heavy days of profit taking and today's nearly 4% decline was enough to hit our stop loss. If the stock continues to correct we can look for possible support and potential bullish positions on a dip near $75.00 or its long-term trendline of higher lows.

Chart:

Picked on   August 26 at $ 87.50  (1/2 pos)
Change since picked:      - 2.75<-- stopped @ 84.75 (-3.1%)
Earnings Date           10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.1 million  
Listed on August 17, 2009         


IDEXX Labs - IDXX - close: 49.41 change: -1.35 stop: 49.75

IDXX is breaking down from its multi-week trading range. The stock hit our stop loss at $49.75 closing the play. Keep an eye on the rising 50-dma, which has been support in the past.

Chart:

Picked on   August 25 at $ 51.75 *small position sizes (1/2 to 1/4)
Change since picked:      - 2.00 <-- stopped out @ 49.75 (-3.8%)
Earnings Date           07/24/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       383 thousand 
Listed on  July 25, 2009         


Valmont Ind. - VMI - close: 79.40 change: -2.93 stop: 79.45

Our brand new buy-the-dip play in VMI has already been stopped out. Support at $80.00 and the 30-dma didn't hold. Shares slipped to $78.93. Our stop was at $79.45. I do think VMI offers potential so keep an eye on it and see if the $75 or $70 levels offer stronger support.

Chart:

Picked on   August 31 at $ 82.00
Change since picked:      - 2.55<-- stopped @ 79.45 (-3.1%)
Earnings Date           10/15/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       315 thousand 
Listed on August 29, 2009