We're closing the FSLR trade and updating a handful of stop losses on our play list.


CALL Play Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 170.31 change: +3.76 stop: 164.00 *new*

AAPL turned in a strong session on Friday. The stock got a boost after an analyst firm raised their price target on AAPL from $170 to $225. Plus rumors are growing about what AAPL might unveil at its annual media event scheduled for this coming Wednesday. Many think the company will release a new model of the iPod or it could be a new tablet PC. The low last week was $164.11 so I'm inching up our stop loss to $164.00. Our first target is $174.00. Our second target is $179.00. FYI: The P&F chart points to a $231 target.

Suggested Options:
More aggressive traders could use September options but they expire in two weeks. I suggest the October calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 26 at $166.50 *(small positions 1/2 to 1/4)
Change since picked:      + 3.81
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        14 million  
Listed on August 25, 2009         


Allegheny Tech. - ATI - close: 29.78 change: +0.57 stop: 27.95

ATI continued to bounce but it stalled at its 50-dma. I am suggesting readers buy calls on this bounce. More conservative traders can wait for a new rise above Friday's high (30.33).

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.

Suggested Options:
I am suggesting the October calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 31 at $ 30.25 *triggered         
Change since picked:      - 0.47
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.7 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


Compass Minerals - CMP - close: 57.10 chg: +1.52 stop: 52.90 *new*

Shares of CMP continue to surge. The stock gained another 2.7% on Friday setting new eight-week highs. At this point I'd prefer to buy calls on a dip near $55.00-54.00. I'm raising the stop loss to $52.90. Our first target is $59.75. We can tentatively set a second target at $64.00. FYI: The Point & Figure chart has turned bullish with a $69 target.

Suggested Options:
Look for a dip. Use the October calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 03 at $ 55.55
Change since picked:       + 1.55
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        415 thousand 
Listed on September 02, 2009         


Fedex - FDX - close: 70.86 change: +1.12 stop: 67.25

The transports performed well on Friday with the sector index up 2%. Shares of FDX tried to keep up and closed with a 1.6% gain. The stock hit our trigger to buy calls at $70.55 so the play is open. Our first target to take profits is at $74.75. Our second target to exit is at $79.00. This could take a few weeks to achieve. Thankfully FDX didn't run away from us and I would still consider new bullish positions right here!

Suggested Options:
I am suggesting the October calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 04 at $ 70.55 *triggered
Change since picked:       + 0.31
Earnings Date            09/17/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.7 million  
Listed on September 03, 2009         


Goldman Sachs - GS - close: 162.97 change: +1.31 stop: 159.00

GS is still bouncing from its lows midweek. Some of the short-term technicals are still bearish. We're waiting to buy calls on a breakout over resistance. Our trigger is at $166.75. If triggered our first target is $179.00. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $228 target. Remember, we want to trade small position sizes.

Suggested Options:
I'm suggesting the October calls. Strikes are available every $5.00.

Annotated Chart:

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: 31.16 change: +0.73 stop: 28.90

The railroad stocks performed well with the DJUSRR index up 2.5%. This sector index rallied right to resistance so it might see a dip on Tuesday. Shares of GWR gained almost 2.4% and looks like it has a lot further to run. I would be tempted to buy this bounce. 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.

Suggested Options:
I'm suggesting the October calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 15 at $ 28.66 /gap down entry
                               /originally listed at $29.30
Change since picked:      + 2.50
Earnings Date           11/03/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       230 thousand
Listed on August 15, 2009         


Grainger W.W. - GWW - close: 88.82 change: +1.65 stop: 84.75

GWW garnered an upgrade this morning with a new price target of $104. The stock rallied on the news and closed up almost 1.9%. Shares are now testing their four-week trendline of lower highs. If you didn't buy the dip with us at $86.00 I'd wait for a breakout over $90.35 before launching new positions. Our first target is $93.50. Our second target is $97.50.

Suggested Options:
If GWW provides a new entry point we want to buy the October calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 1 at $ 86.00 *triggered  
Change since picked:      + 1.17
Earnings Date           10/14/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       635 thousand 
Listed on August 22, 2009         


iShares Financials - IYF - close: 50.21 change: +0.32 stop: 44.90

The rebound in the IYF the last two days was kind of anemic. I'm not ready to buy the bounce yet so we'll keep the buy-the-dip strategy open with a trigger at $47.00. If triggered our first target is $51.50. Our second target is $54.50.

Suggested Options:
If the IYF hits our trigger we want to buy the October or November calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 47.00
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =        5.1 million  
Listed on September 01, 2009         


Legg Mason - LM - close: 27.48 change: +0.04 stop: 26.25 *new*

The rebound in LM has been kind of weak. It looks like an entry point with LM bouncing from the bottom of its bullish channel yet bullish traders should be a little concerned. The low last week was $26.28 near its 50-dma and the rising trendline of support. I am raising our stop loss to $26.25. I'd rather wait for a new rise past $28.25 or $29.25 depending on your risk tolerance as our next entry point to buy calls. If it looks like LM is going to roll over under $28.00 more nimble traders may want to bail out early. 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.

Suggested Options:
If LM provides a new entry point we want to trade the October calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 28 at $ 29.50 *triggered               
Change since picked:      - 2.02
Earnings Date           07/20/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.4 million  
Listed on  July 25, 2009         


Mettler Toledo - MTD - close: 86.82 change: +0.09 stop: 84.99

MTD is trying to bounce and found support at its 30-dma last week. Yet the rebound was under whelming. I'd wait for a little more confirmation before buying calls on the bounce. Or readers can still wait for a new relative high. Keep in mind that the $90.00 level could be round-number resistance and is the top of the October 2008 gap down. 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.

Suggested Options:
If MTD confirms the bounce we want to trade the October calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 27 at $ 88.50 *triggered  (1/4 normal size)
Change since picked:      - 1.68
Earnings Date           11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       234 thousand 
Listed on August 22, 2009         


Newmarket Corp. - NEU - close: 83.77 change: +0.82 stop: 79.00

So far so good. NEU continues to follow our script with a bounce from support near $80.00. I'd still be tempted to chase this bounce but more conservative traders may want to up their stop loss closer to $80.00.

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.

Suggested Options:
We want to trade the October calls (or Decembers since they have more open interest). I'd use the $80s, 85s or 90s.

Annotated Chart:

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:      - 0.56

Picked on September 1 at $ 80.50 *triggered 2nd half
Change since picked:      + 3.27
Earnings Date           10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       141 thousand 
Listed on August 24, 2009         


Occidental Petrol. - OXY - close: 72.73 change: +0.74 stop: 69.45

The rebound in OXY was kind of weak. More aggressive traders may want to go ahead and launch new positions here. A better entry point is a bounce from the $70.00 level. If you look at an intraday chart the $74.00 level might be short-term resistance. Our first target is $77.00. Our second target is $79.85.

Suggested Options:
We want to trade the October calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 27 at $ 72.00 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 0.73
Earnings Date           10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.0 million  
Listed on August 26, 2009         


PPG Inds. Inc. - PPG - close: 54.89 change: +0.78 stop: 52.95

PPG has continued to find support with a short-term trendline of higher lows. I'd consider new bullish positions on a move over $55.00. More conservative traders may want to consider a tighter stop near $53.25. Our first target is $59.80.

Suggested Options:
We want to trade the October or November calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 28 at $ 55.65
Change since picked:      - 0.76
Earnings Date           10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.6 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


State Street (Bank) STT - close: 51.72 change: +0.91 stop: 49.45

STT tested support near $50 and its rising 50-dma. The bounce looks like a new entry point but more conservative traders may want to wait for a rise back over the 52.00-52.25 zone before launching new positions.

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

Suggested Options:
Aggressive traders could use September calls, which expire in two weeks. I'm suggesting October or November calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 31 at $ 52.00 
Change since picked:      - 0.28
Earnings Date           10/13/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.3 million  
Listed on August 19, 2009         


United Health - UNH - close: 28.88 change: +0.01 stop: 27.49

Congress comes back from their August recess this week. If it appears that the government option for healthcare is dead then the healthcare names should rally. Our plan is to buy calls on UNH at $30.55. If triggered our first target to take profits is $34.50. Our second target is $37.50. My time frame is about eight weeks.

FYI: If you prefer a neutral strategy consider some sort of straddle or strangle on UNH. That way you don't care what direction this stock moves.

Suggested Options:
We want to buy the October or December calls. Trigger @ 30.55.

Annotated Chart:

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: 35.13 change: -0.19 stop: 34.49

The dollar is drifting lower and yet oil is having a hard time bouncing. The USO has spent the last three days testing support near its rising 100-dma and the longer-term trendline of support (see chart). I'm still tempted to buy calls on this dip but readers may want to wait for a new bounce over $36.00 before launching positions. Our first target to take profits is at $39.95.

Suggested Options:
We want to buy the October or January 2010 calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 31 at $ 36.50 
Change since picked:      - 1.37
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =      11.5 million  
Listed on August 15, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

Apollo Group - APOL - close: 65.57 chg: -0.31 stop: 66.55

I heard some positive comments for APOL today. The analyst was arguing that companies like APOL, DV, and ESI were seeing an increase in students as unemployed workers go back to school. That's possible but shares of APOL aren't showing it. Shares have developed a bearish posture over the last several weeks.

However, if the market rallies from here we can expect APOL to participate albeit reluctantly. I'd wait for a new drop under $64.00 or a new relative low before launching new bearish positions. Our first target to take profits is $57.50. Currently the Point & Figure chart is bearish with a $56 target.

Suggested Options:
If APOL provides a new entry point we want to use the October or November puts.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 01 at $ 63.63 
Change since picked:       + 2.25
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.9 million  
Listed on September 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.)

Research In Motion - RIMM - close: 77.55 chg: +1.57 stop: n/a

RIMM continues to show strength and is now breaking out over its three-month trendline of lower highs. We only have two weeks left before September options expire. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

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.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 25 at $ 75.56
Change since picked:      + 1.99
Earnings Date           09/24/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =      11.7 million  
Listed on August 25, 2009         


Schlumberger - SLB - close: 55.87 change: +1.45 stop: n/a

SLB is bouncing from support near $54 and its 100-dma. Shares look ready to run higher. Readers may want to consider short-term directional call positions. I'm not suggesting new strangle positions.

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.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 15 at $ 52.00 /gap down entry Aug. 17th
Change since picked:      + 3.87
Earnings Date           10/15/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       9.2 million  
Listed on August 15, 2009         


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

First Solar - FSLR - close: 121.47 chg: +1.53 stop: 131.00

I'm suggesting we call the game early on FSLR. With a bullish market bias and what looks like a short-term bottom forming for FSLR (or at least a set up for a stronger oversold bounce) we want to exit now. Bears could argue that volume has been very light on the bounce and they're right but I'd rather exit now and we can reconsider new positions if FSLR fails at $130 again.

Chart:

Picked on   August 17 at $135.88 *triggered/gap down entry
Change since picked:      -14.41 <-exit early @ 121.47 (-10.6%)
                               /1st target hit @ 122.50 (-9.8%)
Earnings Date           11/03/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.5 million  
Listed on August 15, 2009