CALL Play Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 172.56 change: +1.42 stop: 164.00

AAPL couldn't decide which way it wanted to go for the first half of the day. Yet when the market started to extend its gains this afternoon AAPL finally began to march higher. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stops. The stock has already hit our first target at $174.00. Our second and final target is $179.00. If you wanted to open new positions now you could but I'd use a stop near yesterday's low of $169.70. 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:      + 6.06
                             /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: 32.70 change: +1.03 stop: 29.40 *new*

ATI continues to show relative strength. The stock gained 3.2% and broke through resistance at $32.00 but stalled at its exponential 200-dma. I am adjusting our first exit target to take profits from $34.50 to $33.85, which is near the top of the gap from mid July. I'm raising our stop loss to $29.40. I'm lowering our second target to $38.00. More cautious traders could begin taking profits now in the $32.50-33.00 zone.

Picked on   August 31 at $ 30.25 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 2.45
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.7 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


CF Industries - CF - close: 87.43 change: -0.65 stop: 83.49

Monsanto (MON) issued an earnings warning for 2010 this morning and the news weighed on the industry. CF recovered from its morning lows. I don't see any changes from my prior comments. 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:       + 1.50
Earnings Date            10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        653 thousand 
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Compass Minerals - CMP - close: 58.67 chg: +1.07 stop: 53.60

After trading sideways for a couple of sessions CMP rallied 1.8% to set a new two-month closing high. More conservative traders may want to start taking profits near $59.00.

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:       + 3.12
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        415 thousand 
Listed on September 02, 2009         


Danaher Corp. - DHR - close: 67.40 change: +0.83 stop: 62.25

DHR has managed to extend its gains with another 1.2% rise but volume is beginning to normalize. I'd still buy calls on dips near $65.00 but 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:       + 1.03

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: 59.74 chg: +0.27 stop: 54.90

FDS is now challenging resistance at $60.00. We can expect shares to see a some sort of pull back here. If you're looking for an entry point I'd wait for dips in the $57.50-57.00 zone. 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:       + 2.19
Earnings Date            09/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        331 thousand 
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Fedex - FDX - close: 72.66 change: +0.62 stop: 67.25

The transportation index has broken out to new highs for the year and FDX is slowly doing the same. 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:       + 2.11
Earnings Date            09/17/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.7 million  
Listed on September 03, 2009         


General Dynamic - GD - close: 62.53 change: +0.34 stop: 57.30

The low today was only $61.42. Our plan is to buy calls on a dip at $60.20. We'll use a stop under the September low. Our first target is $64.90. Our second target is $69.00. Investors with a longer-term time frame may want to aim a lot higher. GD has produced an inverse H&S pattern that is forecasting an $85 target.

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 60.20
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.3 million  
Listed on September 09, 2009         


Goldman Sachs - GS - close: 174.87 change: +4.60 stop: 159.00

The rally in GS is accelerating. We want to exit most of our position at $179.00 but I'm adding a second target at $184.50. If you're looking for a new entry point I'd wait for a dip near $170 or $167. I'm raising the stop loss to $163.50. Influential analyst Meredith Whitney told CNBC today that GS is the only "banking" stock that she has a buy recommendation on.

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:      + 8.12
Earnings Date           10/13/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       8.8 million  
Listed on August 29, 2009         


Genesse & Wyoming - GWR - close: 32.18 change: +0.73 stop: 28.90

GWR posted a 2.3% gain and closed over resistance at $32.00. We plan to take some money off the table at our first target of $32.90. Our second target is $34.75. More conservative traders may want to take profits now!

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:      + 3.52
Earnings Date           11/03/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       230 thousand
Listed on August 15, 2009         


Grainger W.W. - GWW - close: 90.00 change: +1.10 stop: 84.75

Traders bought the dip near $88.00 again and GWW is testing short-term resistance at $90.00. If you missed the entry point at $86.00 I'd use a move over $90.35 as a new entry point. Our first target is $93.50. Our second target is $97.50.

Picked on September 1 at $ 86.00 *triggered  
Change since picked:      + 4.00
Earnings Date           10/14/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       635 thousand 
Listed on August 22, 2009         


iShares Financials - IYF - close: 51.72 change: +0.42 stop: 49.49

There is no change from my previous comments on the IYF. We have a breakout trigger to buy calls at $52.60 with a stop loss at $49.49. However, if IYF hits our 52.60 trigger we want to use very small positions given the aggressive nature of the entry point. I'm removing the dip entry point at $47.00. If triggered our first target is $57.00. Our second target is $60.00.

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 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: 88.78 change: +0.88 stop: 84.99

It's taken a few days but MTD is now challenging its early September and 2009 highs. If the stock can break through round-number resistance at $90.00 we should be in good shape. 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:      + 0.28
Earnings Date           11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       234 thousand 
Listed on August 22, 2009         


Newmarket Corp. - NEU - close: 89.11 change: +1.14 stop: 81.45 *new*

NEU is hitting new 52-week highs and approaching potential resistance at $90.00. This is where we can expect to see some profit taking. I'm raising our stop loss to $81.45. Readers should have already taken profits near $88.00. Our second and final target is $92.50. More aggressive traders can aim for $99. 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:      + 4.78
                               /take profits @ 87.97 (+4.3%)

Picked on September 1 at $ 80.50 *triggered 2nd half
Change since picked:      + 8.61
                               /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: 76.78 change: +0.93 stop: 71.90 *new*

OXY is tagging new 2009 highs and looks poised to hit our first target at $77.00 tomorrow. Our second and final target is $79.85. More aggressive traders could aim for the $83-84 zone. I'm raising our stop loss to $71.90.

Picked on   August 27 at $ 72.00 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 4.78
Earnings Date           10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.0 million  
Listed on August 26, 2009         


PPG Inds. Inc. - PPG - close: 56.99 change: +0.53 stop: 52.95

PPG is nearing potential resistance with its August highs in the $57.00-57.50 zone. Don't be surprised to see a dip back toward $55.00. Our first target is $59.80.

Picked on   August 28 at $ 55.65
Change since picked:      + 1.34
Earnings Date           10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.6 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


State Street (Bank) STT - close: 53.94 change: +0.75 stop: 49.45

STT has managed to keep pace with the S&P 500 and rise five days in a row. Yet the S&P 500 is hitting new highs while STT still has resistance near $55.00. The banks should begin to catch up if this rally is going to last.

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:      + 1.94
Earnings Date           10/13/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.3 million  
Listed on August 19, 2009         


United Health - UNH - close: 29.11 change: +0.71 stop: 27.49

Healthcare stocks rallied following Obama's speech last night. The HMO index gained 3.5%. UNH managed a 2.5% gain. 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: 63.54 change: +1.29 stop: 59.40

Traders bought the dip at $62.00 this morning and UNP rallied to a new relative high thanks to strength in the transports. Our first target is $69.00. FYI: The P&F chart is currently bullish with an $88 target.

Picked on September 09 at $ 63.00
Change since picked:       + 0.54
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.2 million  
Listed on September 05, 2009         


U.S. Oil Fund - USO - close: 37.37 change: +0.43 stop: 34.49

The rally in the commodities appears to be stalling a bit even though the dollar is hitting new lows. The USO posted a 1.1% gain on Thursday. 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:      + 0.87
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: 31.06 change: +1.65 stop: n/a

Healthcare stocks rallied following Obama's speech on healthcare reform last night. CI surged 5.6% and hit new highs for the year. I'm not suggesting new strangle positions at this time unless the stock retests the $30.00 region.

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:       + 1.66
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.8 million  
Listed on September 08, 2009         


Research In Motion - RIMM - close: 78.95 chg: +0.73 stop: n/a

RIMM spent the session churning sideways but shares look poised to move higher. 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:      + 3.39
Earnings Date           09/24/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =      11.7 million  
Listed on August 25, 2009         


Schlumberger - SLB - close: 58.43 change: +1.07 stop: n/a

SLB rallied to the top of its three-day trading range and looks poised to move higher. 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:      + 6.43
Earnings Date           10/15/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       9.2 million  
Listed on August 15, 2009