CALL Play Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 172.16 change: -0.40 stop: 164.00

A relatively quiet Friday for the market translated into a very quiet day for AAPL. The stock traded sideways in a narrow range. The trend is up but now that the AAPL media event has come and gone more conservative traders may want to exit early or raise their stop loss. As long as the market continues to climb we can expect AAPL to keep rising but any significant sell-off in the market and AAPL could lead the way lower as traders rush to lock in profits.

I'm not suggesting new positions at this time but more aggressive traders might consider buying a dip or bounce from $170 with a tighter stop loss. AAPL has already hit our first target at $174.00. Our second and final target is $179.00. FYI: The P&F chart points to a $231 target.

Suggested Options:
I am not suggesting new positions in AAPL at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 26 at $166.50 *(small positions 1/2 to 1/4)
Change since picked:      + 5.66
                             /1st target hit @ 174.00 (+4.5%)
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        14 million  
Listed on August 25, 2009         


Alcon Inc. - ACL - close: 135.19 change: -1.56 stop: 129.49

ACL provided us a slightly better entry point with a dip under $135.00. If you think the market is poised to dip then wait for ACL to slip toward $133-132 and use the pull back as an entry point to buy calls. I'm suggesting new positions now. Our first target is $142.50. Our second target is $148.00.

Suggested Options:
I'm suggesting the October calls. We want to use small positions as open interest is relatively small.

BUY CALL OCT 135 ACL-JG open interest= 67  current ask $4.40
BUY CALL OCT 140 ACL-JH open interest=120  current ask $2.15
BUY CALL OCT 145 ACL-JI open interest= 76  current ask $0.90

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 10 at $136.75
Change since picked:       - 1.56
Earnings Date            10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        299 thousand 
Listed on September 10, 2009         


Allegheny Tech. - ATI - close: 33.49 change: +0.79 stop: 29.85 *new*

Target achieved. ATI continued to rally and broke through technical resistance at its 100-dma and exponential 200-dma. Shares hit $34.00 several times. Our first target to take profits was at 33.85. I'm upping our stop loss to $29.85. I am not suggesting new bullish positions at this time but it looks like ATI might be in a new bullish channel. Thus we could see a new entry point on a dip in the $31.50-31.00 zone. Our second and final target is $38.00 but that might be a little too optimistic. ATI has produced an inverse H&S pattern, which would suggest a $38 target but it could take a few weeks to get there.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 31 at $ 30.25 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 3.24
                               /1st target hit @ 33.85 (+11.9%)
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.7 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


CF Industries - CF - close: 87.44 change: +0.01 stop: 83.49

CF traded sideways along with the major averages. It would be natural to see a minor pull back here and I'd use a dip near $85.00 to $84.00 as a new bullish entry point to 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.

Suggested Options:
If CF provides a new entry point I prefer the October $85 or $90 calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 05 at $ 85.93
Change since picked:       + 1.51
Earnings Date            10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        653 thousand 
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Compass Minerals - CMP - close: 58.57 chg: -0.10 stop: 53.90 *new*

CMP is still trading under short-term resistance at $59.00. It would be healthy to see a minor correction. A dip near $56 or $55 can be used as a new bullish entry point. I'm inching our stop loss up to $53.90. Recently I suggested more conservative traders take profits near $59.00 and CMP traded near $58.80 a few times today. Officially our first target to exit is $59.75. Our second and final target is $64.00. FYI: The Point & Figure chart has turned bullish with a $69 target.

Suggested Options:
If CMP provides a new entry point I would buy the October $55 or $60 calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 03 at $ 55.55
Change since picked:       + 3.02
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        415 thousand 
Listed on September 02, 2009         


Danaher Corp. - DHR - close: 67.44 change: +0.04 stop: 62.95 *new*

Volume continues to slide as the rally slowly runs out of gas. DHR is nearing potential resistance at $68.00 and the stock looks short-term overbought here. I would wait for a dip back toward the $65-64 zone as a new entry point to buy calls. I'm upping our stop loss to $62.95. Our first target is $69.50. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $77 target.

Currently we only have half a position open. I am eliminating the trigger to buy more calls at $63.50. A dip to the $65-64 zone should suffice as a new entry point.

Suggested Options:
If DHR provides a new entry point I'd use the October $65 or $70 calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 05 at $ 66.37 (buy 1/2 position)
               /originally listed at $65.76, gap higher entry @ 66.37
Change since picked:       + 1.07
Earnings Date            10/15/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.4 million  
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Factset Research - FDS - close: 60.11 chg: +0.37 stop: 54.90

FDS continues to show relative strength. The stock managed to close over round-number resistance at $60.00. Yet FDS does look a little overbought. I'd wait for dips near $57.50 before considering new bullish positions.

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 on September 22nd and we'll plan to exit the day before the company announces.

Suggested Options:
If FDS provides a new entry point I would use the October 60 calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 08 at $ 57.55
Change since picked:       + 2.56
Earnings Date            09/22/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        331 thousand 
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Fedex - FDX - close: 77.32 change: +4.66 stop: 70.95 *new*

Target exceeded. FDX made headlines this morning when management raised their first quarter guidance and second quarter guidance. FDX raised Q1 estimates from the 30-to-45 cent range to 58 cents compared to analysts' estimates at 44 cents. FDX raised Q2 to 65-to-95 cents versus estimates at 70 cents. The stock gapped open higher at $75.95. Our first target to take profits was at $74.75. Shares hit an intraday high of $78.30. I am upping our second and final target from $79.00 to $79.75. I'm also raising our stop loss to $70.95.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 04 at $ 70.55 *triggered
Change since picked:       + 6.77
                  /1st target exceeded, gap higher @ 75.95 (+7.6%)
Earnings Date            09/17/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.7 million  
Listed on September 03, 2009         


General Dynamic - GD - close: 63.34 change: +0.81 stop: 57.30

GD is showing a bit more relative strength than expected. We want to buy a dip near $60.00 but GD looks poised to break higher. More aggressive traders may want to buy calls now. I'm going to stick to the plan since the market has been up several days in a row.

I will adjust our trigger to buy calls from $60.20 to $60.50 and raise the stop loss to $57.49. 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

Suggested Options:
If GD hits our trigger I prefer the October $60 or $65 calls.

Annotated Chart:

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: 174.70 change: -0.17 stop: 159.00

GS continues to garner bullish analyst comments. This morning one firm raised their price target on GS from $175 to $215. The stock gapped open higher at $176.80 and hit $177.81 before trimming its gains. GS does look short-term overbought. I'd consider new positions on a dip in the $170-166 zone. Our first target to take profits is at $179.00. Our second target is $184.00. The $185-190 zone looks like potential resistance.

FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $228 target. Remember, we want to trade small position sizes.

Suggested Options:
If GS provides a new entry point I'd use the October $170 or $175 calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 8 at $166.75
Change since picked:      + 7.95
Earnings Date           10/13/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       8.8 million  
Listed on August 29, 2009         


Genesse & Wyoming - GWR - close: 31.86 change: -0.32 stop: 28.90

Railroad stocks struggled even as the transports rallied higher. GWR spiked to $32.89 before giving up its gains. Our first target is $32.90. More conservative traders may want to take profits now. I'm not suggesting new positions. Our second and final target is 434.75.

FYI: We want to use small position sizes to limit our risk.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 15 at $ 28.66 /gap down entry
                               /originally listed at $29.30
Change since picked:      + 3.20
Earnings Date           11/03/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       230 thousand
Listed on August 15, 2009         


Grainger W.W. - GWW - close: 88.64 change: -1.36 stop: 84.75

GWW is still struggling with resistance near $90.00. The company said August sales fell 13%, which was inline with the previous month. However, September sales are expected to improve. If you're looking for an entry point another bounce from its rising 50-dma near $87.00 or a breakout over $90.35 can be used as an entry. Our first target is $93.50. Our second target is $97.50.

Suggested Options:
If GWW provides a new entry point I'd use the October $90 calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 1 at $ 86.00 *triggered  
Change since picked:      + 2.64
Earnings Date           10/14/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       635 thousand 
Listed on August 22, 2009         


iShares Financials - IYF - close: 51.44 change: -0.28 stop: 49.49

After five days of gains the financials could be losing a little steam as they near resistance in the $52.00 area. We have moved our trigger to buy calls to $52.60. We want to use very small positions given the aggressive nature of the entry point. If triggered our first target is $57.00. Our second target is $60.00.

Suggested Options:
Options are available at $1.00 increments. I'd use the October $50s, $54s, or the November $50s or $55s.

Annotated Chart:

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: 89.57 change: +0.79 stop: 84.99

MTD has rallied to new highs for the year but it's also testing round-number resistance at $90.00. I'd expect another dip but look for support near $88.00 or its rising 30-dma. 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.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 27 at $ 88.50 *triggered  (1/4 normal size)
Change since picked:      + 1.07
Earnings Date           11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       234 thousand 
Listed on August 22, 2009         


Newmarket Corp. - NEU - close: 88.26 change: -0.60 stop: 81.45

It's not a surprise to see NEU hit a little profit taking after the big bounce from $80.00. I suggested readers take profits a couple of days ago. If NEU does correct I'd watch for short-term support near $84.00. 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.

Suggested Options:
I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

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:      + 4.18
                               /take profits @ 87.97 (+4.3%)

Picked on September 1 at $ 80.50 *triggered 2nd half
Change since picked:      + 8.01
                               /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: 76.97 change: +0.19 stop: 71.90

Target exceeded. OXY gapped open higher at $77.23 and hit $77.80 before paring its gains. Shares look a little overbought given the big bounce from $72.00 this past week. I'm not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. Our second and final target is $79.85. More aggressive traders could aim for the $83-84 zone.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 27 at $ 72.00 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 4.97
                    /1st target exceeded, gap higher @ 77.23 (+7.2%)
Earnings Date           10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.0 million  
Listed on August 26, 2009         


PPG Inds. Inc. - PPG - close: 57.30 change: +0.31 stop: 52.95

PPG is still inching higher but has yet to really breakout past its August highs. Odds are growing for a dip even though the trend is up. I'd use a pull back near $55.00 as a new entry point. More conservative traders may want to raise their stops a bit. Our first target is $59.80.

Suggested Options:
If PPG provides a new entry point I'd use the October $55 or $60 calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 28 at $ 55.65
Change since picked:      + 1.65
Earnings Date           10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.6 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


State Street (Bank) STT - close: 52.73 change: -1.21 stop: 49.45

After a multi-day bounce some of the banks stocks hit some profit taking. STT gave up 2.2%. I'd be tempted to buy calls again if STT bounces from $50 and its rising 50-dma (again). Otherwise readers may want to wait for a new relative high as an entry point.

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:
If STT provides a new entry point I would use the October or November $50 or $55 calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on   August 31 at $ 52.00 
Change since picked:      + 0.73
Earnings Date           10/13/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       5.3 million  
Listed on August 19, 2009         


United Health - UNH - close: 29.07 change: -0.04 stop: 27.49

We've been expecting some volatility in the healthcare names now that congress is back in session. We saw a little bit of movement on Thursday. Readers may want to try a strangle or straddle on UNH. That way you don't care what direction it goes. Right now the plan is to buy calls on a breakout with a trigger 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 once triggered.

Suggested Options:
If UNH hits our trigger we want to use the December calls. I prefer the $30 or $33 strike.

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         


Union Pacific - UNP - close: 62.55 change: -0.99 stop: 59.40

A handful of the major railroad stocks reversed course on Friday. UNP is one of them. The stock hit $64.46 this morning and fell back to short-term support near $62.00. Technically this is a bearish engulfing candlestick pattern. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Our first target is $69.00. FYI: The P&F chart is currently bullish with an $88 target.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 09 at $ 63.00
Change since picked:       - 0.45
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

It was a rough day for crude oil. Futures reversed lower and the USO lost 4%. Oddly enough the news today should have been positive for oil. China said their factory output was up, retail sales were up, lending was up. Here in the states consumer confidence was up. All of this should have been bullish for oil in addition to weakness in the U.S. dollar. The only thing I could find that might have been bearish was a note on a 6% decline in oil imports into China for the month of August.

Right now the USO is falling toward its longer-term trendline of support and its 100-dma. A breakdown under this trendline could be very bearish for the energy stocks and thus the wider market. I'd wait for signs of a bounce off this support or the $35.00 level before considering new bullish call positions. Our first target to take profits is at $39.95.

Suggested Options:
If the USO bounces from support I'd use the October calls. My preference would be the $35 strike but strikes are available in $1.00 increments.

Annotated Chart:

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: 31.33 change: +0.27 stop: n/a

CI hit another new high for the year on Friday. 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.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on September 08 at $ 29.40
Change since picked:       + 1.93
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.8 million  
Listed on September 08, 2009         


Research In Motion - RIMM - close: 79.37 chg: +0.42 stop: n/a

The trend for RIMM appears to be up but the stock is facing resistance near $80.00. We are down to our last week before September options expire and RIMM needs to make a run at the $85 level if we're going to hit our target. More conservative traders may want to lower their target. 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:      + 3.81
Earnings Date           09/24/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =      11.7 million  
Listed on August 25, 2009         


Schlumberger - SLB - close: 60.39 change: +1.96 stop: n/a

Goldman Sachs upgraded SLB from a "neutral" to a "buy" this morning. The stock gapped open higher at $59.81 and quickly rallied to $61.77 before trimming its gains. The September $60 calls spiked to $2.40 before slipping back to $1.45. Our target to exit is $2.50. We're about to run out of time with September options expire in five trading days. More conservative traders may want to take profits now. 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:      + 8.39
Earnings Date           10/15/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       9.2 million  
Listed on August 15, 2009