CALL Play Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 172.93 change: +2.62 stop: 164.00

AAPL is gaining a little momentum ahead of its annual media event tomorrow. The stock gapped open higher this morning and then spent most of the day sideways in a narrow range. I suspect this could be setting up for a disappointment if AAPL doesn't wow the market again. The event begins at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow, so more conservative traders may want to exit ahead of the event and take profits early. 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:      + 6.43
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        14 million  
Listed on August 25, 2009         


Allegheny Tech. - ATI - close: 31.97 change: +2.19 stop: 27.95

ATI was a big performer today. The stock rallied more than 7% on news that ATI had signed a 10-year supply deal with Rolls Royce worth upwards of $1 billion. Shares stalled right at $32.00 resistance.

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:      + 1.72
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.7 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


CF Industries - CF - close: 86.93 change: +1.00 stop: 82.40

CF is still inching higher. If you're the patient type consider waiting for a dip back toward the $85-84 levels and then buy calls. Our first target to take profits is at $92.50. Our second target is $98.00. FYI: The P&F chart has a quadruple-top bullish breakout buy signal with a $99 target.

FYI: Agrium (AGU) is trying to buy CF but CF keeps rejecting the offer calling it too late. At the same time CF is trying to buy Terra Industries (TRA) and TRA keeps rejecting the offer calling it too low. Eventually one of these companies is going to give up or they're finally going to make a big enough offer or somebody else might step in and start bidding. There is a risk that someone bids too much and the market could think they overpaid, which might push the stock lower. This M&A dance has been going on for months and it will probably continue for months so I'm not expecting it to have much short-term impact on the stock. However, it's worth noting that CF recently filed a lawsuit to force TRA to hold their annual shareholder meeting. This way CF can try and vote some members onto the board of directors.

Picked on September 05 at $ 85.93
Change since picked:       + 1.00
Earnings Date            10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        653 thousand 
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Compass Minerals - CMP - close: 57.59 chg: +0.49 stop: 53.60 *new*

Warning! The action in CMP looks like a short-term top. The stock rallied to $59.00, which is near the June 2009 high and quickly reversed. I would expect a correction back to the $55.00-54.00 zone. Wait for the dip before launching new positions. I'm upping the stop loss to $53.60. More conservative traders may want to start taking profits near $59.00 now.

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.

Picked on September 03 at $ 55.55
Change since picked:       + 2.04
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        415 thousand 
Listed on September 02, 2009         


Danaher Corp. - DHR - close: 65.87 change: +0.11 stop: 62.25

The rally in DHR suddenly looks tired. Shares gapped open higher and then sold off only to fight its way back toward the unchanged level. I'm expecting a correction back toward the $64.00 level and possibly $63.00, which would be a new bullish entry point. Currently the plan is to buy the second half of our position on a dip at $63.50. Our first target is $69.00. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $77 target.

Picked on September 05 at $ 66.37 (buy 1/2 position)
               /originally listed at $65.76, gap higher entry @ 66.37
Change since picked:       + 0.00

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx (buy 2nd half position) @ 63.50
Change since picked:       + 0.00

Earnings Date            10/15/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.4 million  
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Factset Research - FDS - close: 57.55 chg: +0.85 stop: 54.35

It took all day but FDS finally rallied to new relative highs. Shares hit our trigger to buy calls at $57.55 late this afternoon. Our first target is $62.00. Our second target is $64.75. The point and figure chart is bullish with a $76 target. Please note that FDS is due to report earnings in late September and we'll plan to exit before the company announces.

Chart:

Picked on September 08 at $ 57.55
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            09/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        331 thousand 
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Fedex - FDX - close: 70.93 change: +0.18 stop: 67.25

The early morning spike toward $72.00 failed but traders were buying the dips near $69.95 this morning. I'm still bullish on FDX and would still open new positions here. 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.

FYI: FDX had one firm raised their price target on the stock to $85.

Picked on September 04 at $ 70.55 *triggered
Change since picked:       + 0.38
Earnings Date            09/17/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.7 million  
Listed on September 03, 2009         


Goldman Sachs - GS - close: 167.22 change: +4.25 stop: 159.00

GS displayed some relative strength today. The stock gapped open higher and then rallied past resistance to hit new four-week highs. Shares also hit our trigger to buy calls at $166.75. While I would buy calls now with GS near $167 there is a chance that GS will fill the gap so more patient traders could wait for a dip near $164 instead.

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.

Chart:

Picked on September 8 at $166.75
Change since picked:      + 0.47
Earnings Date           10/13/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       8.8 million  
Listed on August 29, 2009         


Genesse & Wyoming - GWR - close: 31.69 change: +0.53 stop: 28.90

GWR is nearing resistance near $32.00 again. I'm giving some serious thought to taking some profits off the table right here! At the moment our first target is at $32.90. Our second target is $34.75.

FYI: We want 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:      + 3.03
Earnings Date           11/03/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       230 thousand
Listed on August 15, 2009         


Grainger W.W. - GWW - close: 89.51 change: +0.69 stop: 84.75

GWW continues to rally and looks ready to breakout over resistance near $90.00. 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.

Picked on September 1 at $ 86.00 *triggered  
Change since picked:      + 3.51
Earnings Date           10/14/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       635 thousand 
Listed on August 22, 2009         


iShares Financials - IYF - close: 50.63 change: +0.42 stop: 44.90

Our original plan was to buy calls on a dip at $47.00. We may want to consider a breakout trigger above $52.50 instead.

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         


Mettler Toledo - MTD - close: 87.59 change: +0.77 stop: 84.99

The slow drift higher in MTD began to pick up speed this afternoon. Readers can use the move as a new bullish entry point or 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.

Picked on   August 27 at $ 88.50 *triggered  (1/4 normal size)
Change since picked:      - 0.91
Earnings Date           11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       234 thousand 
Listed on August 22, 2009         


Newmarket Corp. - NEU - close: 84.85 change: +1.08 stop: 79.00

The bounce in NEU continues. If you're looking for a new entry point I'd wait for a dip near $82.00.

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.

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:      + 0.52

Picked on September 1 at $ 80.50 *triggered 2nd half
Change since picked:      + 4.35
Earnings Date           10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       141 thousand 
Listed on August 24, 2009         


Occidental Petrol. - OXY - close: 75.07 change: +2.67 stop: 69.45

Crude oil delivered a big surge higher thanks in part to a new low for the U.S. dollar. The energy sector was a market leader today. OXY rallied 3.6% on above average volume. Our first target is $77.00. Our second target is $79.85.

Picked on   August 27 at $ 72.00 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 3.07
Earnings Date           10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.0 million  
Listed on August 26, 2009         


PPG Inds. Inc. - PPG - close: 55.39 change: +0.50 stop: 52.95

We wanted to see a new move over $55.00 and we got it. More conservative traders may want to consider a tighter stop near $53.25. Our first target is $59.80.

Picked on   August 28 at $ 55.65
Change since picked:      - 0.26
Earnings Date           10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.6 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


State Street (Bank) STT - close: 52.31 change: +0.59 stop: 49.45

STT is also providing another entry point with a rise over $52.00. 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:      + 0.31
Earnings Date           10/13/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.3 million  
Listed on August 19, 2009         


United Health - UNH - close: 27.84 change: -1.04 stop: 27.49

Politicians are back from the August recess and it looks like the Democrats haven't given up yet on a government-run option for healthcare. The HMO healthcare index lost 1.5%. UNH gave up 3.6%. 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.

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         


Union Pacific - UNP - close: 61.67 change: -0.37 stop: 59.40

UNP spiked higher this morning to $62.88 but it immediately failed. I suspect shares will retest the $60.00 level soon. Right now our plan is to buy calls at $63.00. If we are triggered our first target is $69.00. FYI: The P&F chart is currently bullish with an $88 target.

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 63.00
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.2 million  
Listed on September 05, 2009         


U.S. Oil Fund - USO - close: 36.94 change: +1.81 stop: 34.49

The USO soared more than 5% as the U.S. dollar fell to its lowest levels for the year. So far so good. Our first target to take profits is at $39.95.

Picked on   August 31 at $ 36.50 
Change since picked:      + 0.44
Earnings Date           00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =      11.5 million  
Listed on August 15, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

Apollo Group - APOL - close: 65.43 chg: -0.14 stop: 66.55

A little bit of relative weakness in APOL is encouraging but I'm still very wary here. I'd wait for a new drop under $64.00 before considering new put positions. Our first target to take profits is $57.50. Currently the Point & Figure chart is bearish with a $56 target.

Picked on September 01 at $ 63.63 
Change since picked:       + 2.11
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: 79.28 chg: +1.73 stop: n/a

People are expecting AAPL to show volatility over the next couple of days due to AAPL's annual media event. As a major competitor to the iPhone RIMM could also see some volatility. Shares of RIMM were showing strength today. The stock is nearing resistance at $80.00. We have less than 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.

Picked on   August 25 at $ 75.56
Change since picked:      + 3.72
Earnings Date           09/24/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =      11.7 million  
Listed on August 25, 2009         


Schlumberger - SLB - close: 58.10 change: +2.23 stop: n/a

The rally in oil helped SLB gain nearly 4%. Shares are testing resistance near $58.00. 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.

Picked on   August 15 at $ 52.00 /gap down entry Aug. 17th
Change since picked:      + 6.10
Earnings Date           10/15/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       9.2 million  
Listed on August 15, 2009         


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Legg Mason - LM - close: 27.42 change: -0.06 stop: 26.25

The long-term trend in LM is still up but shares under performed today. The stock stalled right where we thought it might near short-term resistance at $28.00. Short-term technicals are turning bearish. I'm suggesting an immediate exit. We can always jump back in later if LM rallies past $29.00 again. The plan was to use small position sizes.

Chart:

Picked on   August 28 at $ 29.50 *triggered               
Change since picked:      - 2.08<-- exit early (-7.0%)
Earnings Date           07/20/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       3.4 million  
Listed on  July 25, 2009