The market strength this morning fueled some breakouts and three of our plays were opened.


CALL Play Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 190.81 change: +0.34 stop: 184.75

AAPL didn't move much on Monday. The stock has been trading sideways near $190 for about four days now. I would still consider new positions here but we might get a better entry point on a dip near $186-185.

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.

Picked on   October 06 at $190.01
Change since picked:       + 0.80
Earnings Date            10/19/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       17.8 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Alcon Inc. - ACL - close: 142.42 change: +0.22 stop: 134.75

ACL rallied toward the $144 level but couldn't quite make it. Shares could be due for a dip but look for short-term support at $140 and then near $138. ACL has already hit our first target. Our second target is $148.00.

Picked on September 10 at $136.75
Change since picked:       + 5.67
                             /1st target hit @ 142.50 (+4.2%)
Earnings Date            10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        299 thousand 
Listed on September 10, 2009         


Amazon.com - AMZN - close: 93.60 change: -2.11 stop: 89.49

Warning! AMZN has produced a bearish reversal pattern today. I would still expect some support near $90 but at this time I'd watch for a bounce before launching new positions.

Our first target to take profits is at $99.90. Our second target would be $104.95. I'd aim higher but we want to exit in front of the late October earnings report.

Picked on   October 08 at $ 95.05
Change since picked:       - 1.45
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        6.2 million  
Listed on   October 07, 2009         


Allegheny Tech. - ATI - close: 35.82 change: -0.32 stop: 33.75

Hmm... over the weekend I raised our second target from $37.00 to $38.50. What does ATI do today? It rallies to $37.00 and then reverses. More conservative traders may want to exit early now. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

Picked on   August 31 at $ 30.25 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 5.57 
                               /1st target hit @ 33.85 (+11.9%)
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.7 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


AvalonBay - AVB - close: 73.90 change: +0.34 stop: 68.49

AVB is still moving higher but the action today almost looks like a short-term top. Readers may want to wait for another dip near the $72-70 zone before opening new positions.

Our first target is $77.75. More aggressive traders could aim higher but we don't want to hold over the early November earnings report.

Picked on   October 08 at $ 72.60
Change since picked:       + 1.30
Earnings Date            11/04/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.8 million  
Listed on   October 07, 2009         


Caterpillar - CAT - close: 53.05 change: -0.59 stop: 48.59

The rally in CAT might be a little tired. Shares hit $54.00 this morning then faded lower.

If you are looking for a new entry point wait for another bounce near $50.00.

Our first target is $54.25. Our second target is $59.00 but that may be too optimistic as we plan to exit ahead of the October 20th earnings report. If you bought October options you need to exit before they expire after Friday, October 16th. FYI: The P&F chart is bullish with an $85 target.

Picked on   October 01 at $ 50.00
Change since picked:       + 3.05
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =         10 million  
Listed on September 19, 2009         


Core Labs - CLB - close: 105.97 change: +1.05 stop: 97.95

Another gain for crude oil fueled relative strength for the energy stocks. CLB gained another 1%.

Our first target to take profit is at $109.90. Our second target is $114.50.

Entered on  October 08 at $105.25
Change since picked:       + 0.72
Earnings Date            10/21/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        175 thousand 
Listed on September 23, 2009         


Canadian Nat. Res. - CNQ - close: 72.40 change: +2.45 stop: 64.95 *new*

Target achieved! CNQ gapped open at $71.15 and then rallied to the $72.50 level and hovered there the rest of the session. Our first target to take profits was at $71.50. The plan was to exit between 50% and 75% of our position there. I am raising our stop loss to $64.95.

CNQ looks very short-term overbought here. I'm not suggesting new positions. Our second and final target is $74.75.

Chart:

Picked on   October 05 at $ 67.01 /gap higher entry
                                /originally listed at $65.04
Change since picked:       + 5.39
                              /1st target hit @ 71.50 (+6.7%)
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        6.4 million  
Listed on   October 05, 2009         


Consol Energy - CNX - close: 49.72 change: +0.57 stop: 43.90

CNX hit new 2009 highs this morning but the rally reversed and the action today looks like a short-term top. Watch for support near $46.00 or $44.00.

CNX has already hit our first target at $48.50. Our second and final target is $54.50. We'll plan to exit ahead of the late October earnings report.

Picked on September 25 at $ 43.77 /gap down entry
Change since picked:       + 5.95
                                /1st target hit @ 48.50 (+10.8%)
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.0 million  
Listed on September 19, 2009         


Capella Education - CPLA - close: 70.04 change: -1.04 stop: 62.90

CPLA has produced an "inside day". Tomorrow's performance could be pivotal. We don't want to chase the stock here. Currently the plan is to buy calls on a dip at $65.75. More aggressive traders may want to raise their trigger.

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: 67.83 change: -0.01 stop: 63.95

DHR managed to close the day almost unchanged on the session. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time but my comments from the weekend still stand. We need to exit before October options expire this Friday.

Our first target is $69.50. The $70.00 level looks like significant resistance but we're going to set a secondary target at $72.50. 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:       + 1.46
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.4 million  
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Diamond Offshore - DO - close: 101.81 change: +1.70 stop: 91.95

A nice gain in crude oil fueled some strength in the oil service stocks. DO hit new 2009 highs at $103 this morning. Remember, we plan to exit before October expiration.

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

Picked on September 15 at $ 94.69 *adjusted entry point
Change since picked:       + 7.12
                               /1st target hit @ 99.90 (+5.5%)
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.8 million  
Listed on September 12, 2009         


Dril-Quip, Inc. - DRQ - close: 53.04 change: +0.44 stop: 46.95

DRQ also hit a new high for the year but pared its gains by the close. I would wait for a dip back toward the $50 or $48 levels before considering new positions.

DRQ has already hit our first target at $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:       + 4.54
                              /1st target hit @ 53.00 (+9.2%)
Earnings Date            11/10/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        282 thousand 
Listed on September 26, 2009         


EOG Resources - EOG - close: 90.58 change: +0.98 stop: 82.49

EOG is still inching higher even though shares are already short-term overbought. I'm not suggesting new positions at these levels.

EOG has exceeded our first target at $89.90. Our second target is $94.75. We actually have a third target a $99.50.

Picked on   October 07 at $ 85.24 /gap higher entry
                               /originally listed at $84.71
Change since picked:       + 5.34
                              /1st target hit @ 89.90 (+5.4%)
Earnings Date            11/03/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.9 million  
Listed on   October 07, 2009         


Express Scripts - ESRX - close: 80.92 change: +1.48 stop: 74.90

ESRX has produced a bullish breakout over resistance at $80.00. This is a new all-time high for the stock. 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:       + 3.50
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.1 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Flowserve - FLS - close: 102.74 change: +1.97 stop: 95.90

FLS has hit our trigger to buy calls at $102.60. Shares have broken out and closed at new 2009 highs. Our first target is $109.75.

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

Chart:

Picked on   October 12 at $102.60
Change since picked:       + 0.14
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.2 million  
Listed on September 19, 2009         


General Dynamic - GD - close: 65.61 change: -0.55 stop: 61.75

We are still waiting for a pull back. The plan is to buy calls at $64.25. If triggered our first target is $69.90. We will plan to exit ahead of the late October earnings report.

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 64.25
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: 103.56 change: +0.72 stop: 97.40

A drop in the dollar powered another gain for gold. The GLD gained 0.7%.

If we can get a dip near $100.00 I'd jump on it as a new entry point to buy calls. Our plan calls for small positions to limit risk.

I'm hearing more analysts call for a rally to $1,300 in gold. This lines up with what I said last week. The weekly chart has an inverse head-and-shoulders pattern that is forecasting a huge upward target around $130ish (for the GLD, or $1,300 for gold) but that could take several months to be achieved. Our shorter-term (several weeks) target is a rally to $109.90. We are still contemplating a second target.

Picked on   October 06 at $102.28
Change since picked:       + 1.28
Earnings Date            00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       14.2 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Illumina Inc. - ILMN - close: 41.96 change: -1.13 stop: 37.75

The correction in ILMN continues. Our plan is to buy calls on a dip at $40.10. More conservative traders may want to wait for a bounce first. Our biggest challenge right now is timing. We have just over a week before ILMN reports earnings and we don't want to hold over the announcement.

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: 54.05 change: +0.33 stop: 49.49

The IYF is nearing potential resistance at its 2009 highs. It's probably time for a dip after last week's huge bounce. Yet direction will be set by this week's earnings in the financial sector.

JPM reports on Wednesday, GS on Thursday, and BAC on Friday. Results or management comments from any of these companies could have a major impact on the financials.

Our first target is $57.00. Our second target is $60.00.

Picked on September 15 at $ 52.60 *triggered  
Change since picked:       + 1.45
Earnings Date            00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =        5.1 million  
Listed on September 01, 2009         


PPG Inds. Inc. - PPG - close: 60.11 change: +0.36 stop: 55.95

PPG continues to rally but shares are now testing resistance at the September and 2009 highs. I am suggesting that more conservative traders exit here. This is a logical spot to expect a pull back and we only have two days left.

The company announces on October 15th before the opening bell. We will plan to close this play on Oct. 14th at the close. If PPG reverses again under $60.50 we'll want to exit early.

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:      + 4.46
                             /1st target exceeded @ 60.05 (7.9%)
Earnings Date           10/15/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.6 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


Mobile Telesys - MBT - close: 51.26 change: +2.19 stop: 46.80

Our new play in MBT is now open. The stock broke out over key resistance at $50.00 and hit our trigger at $50.15. Our first target is $54.50. Our second target is $59.00. We do not want to hold positions over the early November earnings report.

Chart:

Picked on   October 12 at $ 50.15
Change since picked:       + 1.11
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.5 million  
Listed on   October 10, 2009         


Precision Cast Parts - PCP - cls: 101.90 change: -1.42 stop: 99.90

PCP also hit our trigger to buy calls but the action wasn't so bullish. Shares rallied to $104.14 and reversed. We were triggered at $104.05. I would be tempted to buy calls on a bounce near $100 but for now I'm suggesting readers wait for a new high of $104.20 before launching positions. Our target is $109.90. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher but PCP has earnings on October 20th and we don't want to hold over the report.

Chart:

Picked on   October xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 104.05
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.0 million  
Listed on   October 10, 2009         


Waters Corp. - WAT - close: 57.62 change: -0.13 stop: 53.25

It looks like WAT is struggling with the $58.00 level. Don't be surprised if shares pull back and retest $56.00 as support. The plan is to use small position sizes (1/2 to 1/4 our normal size) to minimize risk.

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:       + 2.19
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        809 thousand 
Listed on September 12, 2009         


Whirlpool Corp. - WHR - close: 71.38 change: +0.88 stop: 65.90

If you were waiting for a move over $71.00 we just got it! My only complaint today would be the very low volume. Our first target to take profits is at $73.90. Our second target is $78.50. We will plan to exit ahead of the October 23rd earnings report.

Picked on   October 10 at $ 70.50
Change since picked:       + 0.88
Earnings Date            10/23/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.5 million  
Listed on   October 10, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

BIOGEN IDEC - BIIB - close: 48.69 change: -0.32 stop: 52.15

BIIB is still under performing. While I'm bearish on the stock this is a tough environment for bearish plays.

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:       - 0.20
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: 29.64 change: +0.12 stop: n/a

Time has almost run out for the CI strangle and odds are very much against us with only four days left before October options expire. I'm starting to wonder if CI is going to be pinned to the $30.00 level for option expiration.

We have adjusted our exit target to $0.75 in hopes of recovering some of our capital on a spike up or down.

The options I suggested were the October $35 calls (CI-JG) and the October $25 puts (CI-VE). Our estimated cost was $1.20.

Picked on September 08 at $ 29.40
Change since picked:       + 0.24
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.8 million  
Listed on September 08, 2009