CALL Play Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 171.14 change: -1.79 stop: 164.00

Target achieved. Excitement and speculation before the AAPL media event today began sent shares to an intraday high of $174.47. Our first target to take profits was at $174.00. It looks like the stock suffered some sell-the-news sort of move later in the day. AAPL released a new iPod with a camera and new prices across several different models and this could have left some investors a little disappointed.

AAPL has now filled the gap from Tuesday morning and tested the $170 level as possible support. Do you sell now or hold on? I am suggesting that more conservative traders consider selling out completely. AAPL could face more selling pressure going forward now that the event is over. However, it's very possible that if the market keeps climbing that AAPL will climb with it. AAPL does have some support near $165 so I'm upping our stop loss to $164.75. I am not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. Our second target is $179.00. FYI: The P&F chart points to a $231 target.

Chart:

Picked on   August 26 at $166.50 *(small positions 1/2 to 1/4)
Change since picked:      + 4.64
                             /1st target hit @ 174.00 (+4.5%)
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        14 million  
Listed on August 25, 2009         


Allegheny Tech. - ATI - close: 31.67 change: -0.30 stop: 27.95

After yesterday's big gains it was a minor victory to see ATI holding near its recent highs. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. ATI has resistance near $32.00 and then again at its 100-dma near $32.88. If you're looking for an entry point look for a dip or a bounce from the $30 level.

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:      + 1.42
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.7 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


CF Industries - CF - close: 88.08 change: +1.15 stop: 83.49 *new*

CF continues to perform well. The stock added another 1.3% today hitting new highs for the year. CF is now up five days in a row. If you're looking for an entry point then wait for a dip back toward the $85-84 zone. I'm raising our stop loss to $83.49. 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:       + 2.15
Earnings Date            10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        653 thousand 
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Compass Minerals - CMP - close: 57.60 chg: +0.01 stop: 53.60

There is no change from my prior comments. Yesterday looks like a short-term top and failed rally at resistance. I would expect a correction back to the $55.00-54.00 zone. Wait for the dip before launching new positions. 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:       + 2.05
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        415 thousand 
Listed on September 02, 2009         


Danaher Corp. - DHR - close: 66.57 change: +0.70 stop: 62.25

I am somewhat surprised by the relative strength in DHR today, especially after yesterday's performance. I'd still buy calls on dips near $65.00. Plus we have a trigger at $63.50 to buy the second half of our position. 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:       + 0.20

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: 59.47 chg: +1.92 stop: 54.90 *new*

Whoa! The action in FDS is starting to get too hot. Shares gained another 3.3% on above average volume. The next test is potential resistance at $60.00. If you're looking for an entry point I'd wait for dips in the $57.50-57.00 zone. I'm upping our stop loss to $54.90. 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.

Picked on September 08 at $ 57.55
Change since picked:       + 1.92
Earnings Date            09/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        331 thousand 
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Fedex - FDX - close: 72.04 change: +1.11 stop: 67.25

Transports performed well today. Traders bought the afternoon dip in FDX near $71.00. 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.

Picked on September 04 at $ 70.55 *triggered
Change since picked:       + 1.49
Earnings Date            09/17/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.7 million  
Listed on September 03, 2009         


Goldman Sachs - GS - close: 170.27 change: +3.05 stop: 159.00

GS was a market leader with another strong gain. The stock is quickly approaching potential resistance at its early August highs in the $170-171 zone. If you missed the entry point I'd look for dips near $167.00-166.00.

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.

Picked on September 8 at $166.75
Change since picked:      + 3.52
Earnings Date           10/13/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       8.8 million  
Listed on August 29, 2009         


Genesse & Wyoming - GWR - close: 31.45 change: -0.24 stop: 28.90

GWR is still fighting with resistance near $32.00. More conservative traders may want to take some money 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:      + 2.79
Earnings Date           11/03/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       230 thousand
Listed on August 15, 2009         


Grainger W.W. - GWW - close: 88.90 change: -0.61 stop: 84.75

GWW gapped open lower this morning and spent the rest of the session trying to recover. I didn't see any specific news behind the weakness. 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:      + 2.90
Earnings Date           10/14/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       635 thousand 
Listed on August 22, 2009         


iShares Financials - IYF - close: 51.30 change: +0.67 stop: 44.90

I'm adding a trigger to buy calls on a breakout. The August high was $52.47. Our breakout trigger to buy calls will be $52.60. This is an aggressive entry point and we want to trade very small position sizes. If triggered at $52.60 we'll use a stop at $49.49. Our original plan was to buy calls on a dip at $47.00 with a stop at $44.90.

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 47.00 or 52.60
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: 87.90 change: +0.31 stop: 84.99

MTD is still creeping higher. I don't see any changes from my prior comments. 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:      - 0.60
Earnings Date           11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       234 thousand 
Listed on August 22, 2009         


Newmarket Corp. - NEU - close: 87.97 change: +3.12 stop: 79.00

NEU delivered an impressive day with a 3.6% rally. The stock is now testing resistance near $88.00. I am adjusting our exit strategy and suggest readers take profits now instead of waiting for $88.50. Our second and final target is $92.50. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $116.00 target.

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:      + 3.64
                               /take profits @ 87.97 (+4.3%)

Picked on September 1 at $ 80.50 *triggered 2nd half
Change since picked:      + 7.47
                               /take profits @ 87.97 (+9.2%)
Earnings Date           10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       141 thousand 
Listed on August 24, 2009         


Occidental Petrol. - OXY - close: 75.85 change: +0.78 stop: 69.45

OXY continues to rally and is now testing resistance near $75.00. Our first target is $77.00. Our second target is $79.85.

Picked on   August 27 at $ 72.00 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 3.85
Earnings Date           10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.0 million  
Listed on August 26, 2009         


PPG Inds. Inc. - PPG - close: 56.46 change: +1.07 stop: 52.95

PPG is climbing on rising volume, which is normally a bullish sign. 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:      + 0.81
Earnings Date           10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.6 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


State Street (Bank) STT - close: 53.19 change: +0.88 stop: 49.45

Financials finally started to join the party later in the session and STT closed with a 1.6% gain. I would still consider new positions here if you're target is the $60 region.

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:      + 1.19
Earnings Date           10/13/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.3 million  
Listed on August 19, 2009         


United Health - UNH - close: 28.40 change: +0.56 stop: 27.49

Healthcare stocks might show some volatility tomorrow as the sector reacts to President Obama's speech tonight on healthcare.

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: 62.25 change: +0.58 stop: 59.40

UNP tagged a new high over $63.00 midday. Our trigger to buy calls was $63.00 so the play is open. Our first target is $69.00. FYI: The P&F chart is currently bullish with an $88 target.

Chart:

Picked on September 09 at $ 63.00
Change since picked:       - 0.75
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: +0.00 stop: 34.49

The rally in oil stalled even as the U.S. dollar sank to new lows. The contraction from its intraday highs might suggest a short-term top. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Don't be surprised to see a dip back toward the $36.00-35.50 zone. 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

*Currently we do not have any put play updates*


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.)

Cigna Corp. - CI - close: 29.41 change: +0.01 stop: n/a

CI continues to move sideways, which provided us an opportunity to open positions. The healthcare stocks might be volatile tomorrow as investors react to President Obama's speech tonight on healthcare.

The options I suggested were the October $35 calls (CI-JG) and the October $25 puts (CI-VE). Our estimated cost was $1.20. We want to sell if either option hits $2.50 or higher. The closer we can open this trade to $30.00 the better.

Picked on September 08 at $ 29.40
Change since picked:       + 0.01
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.8 million  
Listed on September 08, 2009         


Research In Motion - RIMM - close: 78.22 chg: -1.06 stop: n/a

RIMM suffered some profit taking this afternoon. 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:      + 2.66
Earnings Date           09/24/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =      11.7 million  
Listed on August 25, 2009         


Schlumberger - SLB - close: 57.36 change: -0.74 stop: n/a

SLB also suffered a little profit taking today. 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:      + 5.36
Earnings Date           10/15/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       9.2 million  
Listed on August 15, 2009         


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

Apollo Group - APOL - close: 66.63 chg: +1.20 stop: 66.55

The market's strength was enough to lift APOL through the $66.00 level and hit our stop loss at $66.55. Longer-term the pattern is bearish but very short-term the trend is up.

Chart:

Picked on September 01 at $ 63.63 
Change since picked:       + 2.92<-- stopped @ 66.55 (+4.5%)
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.9 million  
Listed on September 01, 2009