CALL Play Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 190.25 change: +0.24 stop: 184.75

AAPL spent the day trading sideways and managed to eke out a gain before the closing bell. One analyst firm raised their price target on the stock to $325. There are no changes from my prior comments.

I'm suggesting bullish positions now or on a dip in the $187-185 zone. We'll use a stop loss at $184.75. Our first target to take profits (I'd exit 2/3rds of our position) is at $199.50. We will cautiously set a secondary target at $210. The P&F chart is currently forecasting a $231 target.

FYI: We will exit ahead of the October 19th earnings report. October options expire after Friday October 16th. Aggressive traders could play the October calls and I'd use the $190 strike. The rest of us will want to consider November calls and I'd use the $200 strike.

Picked on   October 06 at $190.01
Change since picked:       + 0.24
Earnings Date            10/19/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       17.8 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Alcon Inc. - ACL - close: 139.12 change: +2.52 stop: 133.90

ACL is playing a little catch up after under performing the market the last couple of days. Shares are under round-number resistance at $140 but they look poised to move higher. ACL has already hit our first target. Our second target is $148.00.

Picked on September 10 at $136.75
Change since picked:       + 2.37
                             /1st target hit @ 142.50 (+4.2%)
Earnings Date            10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        299 thousand 
Listed on September 10, 2009         


Allegheny Tech. - ATI - close: 35.43 change: +0.19 stop: 31.70

ATI is another stock that spent the session moving sideways. Shares appear stuck between what looks like short-term support near $34.00 and resistance near $36.00. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. ATI has exceeded our first target. We're currently aiming for $37.00.

Picked on   August 31 at $ 30.25 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 5.18 
                               /1st target hit @ 33.85 (+11.9%)
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.7 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


Caterpillar - CAT - close: 51.90 change: +0.20 stop: 47.49

CAT consolidated under the $52.00 level all day long. I'm still bullish here but readers may want to wait for dips in the $51.00-50.00 zone as an entry point.

Our first target is $54.50. Our second target is $59.00. FYI: The P&F chart is bullish with an $85 target.

Picked on   October 01 at $ 50.00
Change since picked:       + 1.90
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =         10 million  
Listed on September 19, 2009         


Core Labs - CLB - close: 103.08 change: +0.45 stop: 97.95

The current 2009 high is $104.95. I am suggesting readers buy calls on a breakout at $105.25. However, keep an eye on the $99-98 zone. If CLB produces another bounce from that level we might buy the bounce instead.

Our new targets are $109.90 and $114.50.

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 105.25
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            10/21/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        175 thousand 
Listed on September 23, 2009         


Canadian Nat. Res. - CNQ - close: 66.69 change: -0.13 stop: 61.90

There is no change from my previous comments. We can open bullish positions now or wait for a better entry point on a dip near $65.00. Our first target is $71.50.

Picked on   October 05 at $ 67.01 /gap higher entry
                                /originally listed at $65.04
Change since picked:       - 0.32
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        6.4 million  
Listed on   October 05, 2009         


Consol Energy - CNX - close: 47.50 change: -0.05 stop: 41.90

The late day rebound in CNX was encouraging. The stock recovered from its lows near $46.30 to close almost unchanged.

Our first target is $48.50. Our second target is $52.40. We'll plan to exit ahead of the late October earnings report. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is forecasting a $73 target.

Picked on September 25 at $ 43.77 /gap down entry
Change since picked:       + 3.73
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.0 million  
Listed on September 19, 2009         


Capella Education - CPLA - close: 69.79 change: +0.15 stop: 62.90

CPLA still looks short-term overbought and we're waiting for a little correction. Our trigger to buy calls is at $65.75.

If triggered our first target is $69.90. Our secondary target is $74.00 but we'll exit ahead of the late October earnings report. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with an $82 target.

Trading note: CPLA doesn't have a lot of volume and neither do the options. I would keep positions small.

Picked on   October xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER $65.75
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        145 thousand 
Listed on   October 03, 2009         


Danaher Corp. - DHR - close: 65.34 change: -0.18 stop: 63.95

DHR is still under performing. If we don't see some participation in the rally soon we'll consider an early exit. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

Our first target is $69.50. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $77 target. Currently we only have half a position open to limit our risk given the aggressive entry point.

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
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.4 million  
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Diamond Offshore - DO - close: 98.05 change: +1.09 stop: 89.75

The oil service stocks reversed their losses and closed up as one of the strongest sectors on Wednesday. DO managed to close at new 2009 highs.

Our first target is $99.90. Our second target is $104.50. More aggressive traders can aim for $110. The P&F chart is forecasting a $114 target. The plan was to use small position sizes.

Picked on September 15 at $ 94.69 *adjusted entry point
Change since picked:       + 3.36
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.8 million  
Listed on September 12, 2009         


Dril-Quip, Inc. - DRQ - close: 51.65 change: +0.50 stop: 45.90

DRQ set another new closing high for the year.

More conservative traders may want to raise their stops toward $47.00.

Our first target is $53.00. Our second target is $57.50. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $65.00 target.

Picked on September 28 at $ 48.50
Change since picked:       + 3.15
Earnings Date            11/10/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        282 thousand 
Listed on September 26, 2009         


Express Scripts - ESRX - close: 78.31 change: +0.27 stop: 74.90

ESRX gapped down this morning but recovered to close in positive territory. I would still consider new positions here. Our first target is $82.50. Our second target is $84.95.

Picked on   October 06 at $ 77.42 /gap down entry
                              /originally listed at $78.04
Change since picked:       + 0.89
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.1 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Flowserve - FLS - close: 99.69 change: -0.93 stop: 89.40

FLS under performed the market today. I am suggesting an alternative entry point in case the stocks rallies from here. Open small positions (1/2 to 1/4 your normal size) if FLS trades at $102.60 or higher. If triggered at $102.60 we'll use a stop loss at $95.90. I would also use the Nov 105 calls instead (FLS-KA). Our first target will be $109.75. We'll keep the dip entry point at $91.00 open as well.

We will plan to exit ahead of the late October earnings report.

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 91.00 or 102.60
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.2 million  
Listed on September 19, 2009         


General Dynamic - GD - close: 65.51 change: -0.03 stop: 59.85

Currently the plan is to buy calls at $62.50.

Our first target is $66.00.

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 62.50
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.3 million  
Listed on September 09, 2009         


Gold ETF - GLD - close: 102.36 change: +0.08 stop: 97.40

Gold and the GLD inched to another new high in spite of a bounce in the dollar. I don't see any changes from my prior comments.

I would prefer to buy call son a dip near $100.00 but we may not get that opportunity so I'm suggesting small positions now (1/2 to 1/4 your normal size).

The weekly chart has an inverse head-and-shoulders pattern that is forecasting a huge upward target around $130ish but that could take several months to be achieved. Short-term (several weeks) I'm looking for a move to $109.90 as our first target. We'll set a second target soon.

Picked on   October 06 at $102.28
Change since picked:       + 0.08
Earnings Date            00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       14.2 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Illumina Inc. - ILMN - close: 42.45 change: -0.69 stop: 37.75

The failed rally at $44.00 on Tuesday and today's under performing in ILMN is starting to look like a bearish reversal. I'm expecting support near $40.00. The plan is to buy calls at $40.10.

If we are triggered at $40.10 our first target is $44.00. We plan to exit before the October earnings report.

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 40.10
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.6 million  
Listed on September 26, 2009         


iShares Financials - IYF - close: 53.04 change: +0.48 stop: 49.49

An upgrade and some positive analyst comments for the banks this morning helped the sector perform well. Our first target is $57.00. Our second target is $60.00.

Picked on September 15 at $ 52.60 *triggered  
Change since picked:       + 0.44
Earnings Date            00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =        5.1 million  
Listed on September 01, 2009         


PPG Inds. Inc. - PPG - close: 57.87 change: -0.16 stop: 54.95

PPG followed the market sideways. We have a week left before the company reports earnings.

PPG has already exceeded our first target and we're currently aiming for $63.00.

Picked on   August 28 at $ 55.65
Change since picked:      + 2.22
                             /1st target exceeded @ 60.05 (7.9%)
Earnings Date           10/15/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.6 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


SOHU.com Inc. - SOHU - close: 67.78 change: +0.72 stop: 63.75

SOHU is still bouncing and more of the short-term technical indicators are improving.

Our first target is $72.50. Our second target is $77.00.

Picked on   October 01 at $ 68.24 /gap open entry
                                 (small positions 1/2 to 1/4)
Change since picked:       - 0.46
Earnings Date            10/26/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        577 thousand 
Listed on September 15, 2009         


Waters Corp. - WAT - close: 56.61 change: +0.40 stop: 53.25

WAT out performed the S&P 500 with a 0.7% gain on Wednesday. I would still open new positions now. Our plan is to use small position sizes (1/2 to 1/4 our normal size).

Our first target is $59.50. We do not want to hold over the mid October earnings report.

Picked on September 28 at $ 55.43 *new entry
Change since picked:       + 1.18
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        809 thousand 
Listed on September 12, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

BIOGEN IDEC - BIIB - close: 49.17 change: +0.15 stop: 52.15

There is no change from my previous comments. A failed rally near $50.00 could be used as a new bearish entry point.

Don't forget - this is a higher-risk play because we're choosing to hold over the earnings report!

Our first target to take profits is at $44.50. Our second target is $40.50. FYI: The P&F chart is bearish with a $36 target.

Picked on   October 03 at $ 48.89
Change since picked:       + 0.28
Earnings Date            10/15/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.6 million  
Listed on   October 03, 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.)

Cigna Corp. - CI - close: 29.56 change: +0.88 stop: n/a

CI is beginning to rebound from its two-week consolidation in the $27-29 zone. Shares are nearing significant resistance at $30.00 and a small cloud of moving averages. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

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:       + 0.16
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.8 million  
Listed on September 08, 2009