We're updating a few stop losses on the play list and dropping one candidate.


CALL Play Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 190.02 change: -0.79 stop: 184.75

AAPL continues to trade sideways in spite of another bullish analyst upgrade and raised price target this morning. I suspect the better than expected Intel earnings news will finally spark some movement in AAPL. Keep in mind that we plan to exit ahead of the October 19th, after the market, earnings release from AAPL. We only have four trading days left.

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:       + 0.01
Earnings Date            10/19/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       17.8 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Alcon Inc. - ACL - close: 143.75 change: +1.33 stop: 134.75

ACL displayed some relative strength with a 0.9% gain but shares are nearing resistance in the $144-145 zone. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. ACL has already hit our first target. Our second target is $148.00.

Picked on September 10 at $136.75
Change since picked:       + 7.00
                             /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: 94.83 change: +1.23 stop: 89.49

Lack of follow through on yesterday's bearish reversal pattern is a good sign but doesn't mean we're out of danger here. Fortunately, I would expect the INTC news tonight to help power a rally in technology stocks. A new move over $95 could be used as a entry point in AMZN.

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:       - 0.22
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        6.2 million  
Listed on   October 07, 2009         


Allegheny Tech. - ATI - close: 36.07 change: +0.25 stop: 33.75

We're planning to exit before October options expire. That gives us three days left. More conservative traders may want to exit early now. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Our second target is $38.50.

Picked on   August 31 at $ 30.25 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 5.82 
                               /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: 72.71 change: -1.19 stop: 68.49

AVB looks like it's rolling over a little. I would expect a dip toward the $70.00 region, which can be used as a new entry point.

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:       + 0.11
Earnings Date            11/04/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.8 million  
Listed on   October 07, 2009         


Caterpillar - CAT - close: 52.74 change: -0.31 stop: 48.59

As expected CAT is contracting a bit. 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:       + 2.74
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =         10 million  
Listed on September 19, 2009         


Core Labs - CLB - close: 105.31 change: -0.66 stop: 97.95

CLB is still consolidating sideways. I would still consider new positions in the $104-106 zone.

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:       + 0.06
Earnings Date            10/21/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        175 thousand 
Listed on September 23, 2009         


Canadian Nat. Res. - CNQ - close: 72.46 change: +0.06 stop: 64.95

CNQ tagged another new 52-week high this afternoon. Nothing has changed from my prior comments. CNQ looks very short-term overbought here. I'm not suggesting new positions. Our second and final target is $74.75.

Picked on   October 05 at $ 67.01 /gap higher entry
                                /originally listed at $65.04
Change since picked:       + 5.45
                              /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: 50.05 change: +0.33 stop: 43.90

Traders bought the dip near $48.25 this morning. The rebound today may have canceled out yesterday's bearish reversal performance.

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:       + 6.28
                                /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: 70.08 change: +0.04 stop: 62.90

CPLA is still clinging to the $70.00 level. 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 $94 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: 68.13 change: +0.30 stop: 64.35 *new*

Time is running out for us. The plan is to exit before October option expiration. Right now the goal is to exit at $69.50. More aggressive traders can aim for the $72.50 level. Please note that we're raising the stop loss to $64.35. 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:       + 1.76
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.4 million  
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Diamond Offshore - DO - close: 100.96 change: -0.85 stop: 95.95 *new*

DO encountered some profit taking but traders bought the dip near $99 this morning. We've got three days left. We plan to exit completely before October expiration. Please note that I'm raising the stop loss to $95.95.

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:       + 6.27
                               /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: 52.64 change: -0.40 stop: 47.75 *new*

If you look at the intraday chart I suspect that DRQ is forecasting a move toward $50 soon. We can use a dip or bounce near $50 as a new entry point. I'm raising our stop loss to $47.75.

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:       + 4.14
                              /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: 89.63 change: -0.95 stop: 82.49

EOG also acts like it's about to dip lower. I would look for a pull back toward $85.00, which as broken resistance should be new support. A bounce near $85 could be used as a new entry point.

EOG has exceeded our first target at $89.90. Our second target is $94.75. We actually have a third target a $99.50 but that might be too optimistic given our time frame. We do not want to hold over the early November earnings report.

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: 81.04 change: +0.12 stop: 74.90

ESRX managed to hold its gains above $80 in spite of a little market weakness. Shares actually tested $80 this morning and bounced, which is a good sign. 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:       + 3.62
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.1 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Flowserve - FLS - close: 101.09 change: -1.65 stop: 95.90

This move looks like an entry point. FLS dipped toward $100 and bounced. Shares actually hit $99.71. More conservative traders may want to adjust their stops based on today's low. I'd jump in with new positions here. Our first target is $109.75.

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

Picked on   October 12 at $102.60
Change since picked:       - 1.51
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.2 million  
Listed on September 19, 2009         


Gold ETF - GLD - close: 104.26 change: +0.70 stop: 97.40

Weakness in the dollar fueled another new high for gold futures and the GLD gained 0.6%. The move is looking a little overbought here but it can always get more overbought. I'd prefer to open new positions on a dip or a bounce near $100. Be sure to give yourself enough time for the move to play out. 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:       + 1.98
Earnings Date            00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       14.2 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Illumina Inc. - ILMN - close: 42.02 change: +0.06 stop: 37.75

ILMN is still consolidating and the stock looks ready to drop toward $40. 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 can't find a confirmed earnings date yet for ILMN. Right now it looks like the company could announce around the October 20th-21st time frame. That doesn't give us a lot of time for ILMN to hit our trigger and bounce. I'm suggesting readers only use small positions (1/2 to 1/4 your normal size) to limit risk.

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: 53.56 change: -0.48 stop: 49.49

Financials struggled a bit today after influential analyst Meredith Whitney downgraded Goldman Sachs (GS) from a "buy" to a "neutral". Direction for this sector is going to depend on earnings results. JPM reports tomorrow morning. Analysts are expecting JPM to deliver a profit of 49 cents a share. Their results could re-ignite or derail the bank rally. If we get past JPM then GS is the next land mine to get past on Thursday. We had October options to Friday is our last day to exit.

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

Picked on September 15 at $ 52.60 *triggered  
Change since picked:       + 0.96
Earnings Date            00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =        5.1 million  
Listed on September 01, 2009         


PPG Inds. Inc. - PPG - close: 60.64 change: +0.53 stop: 57.90 *new*

PPG closed at new highs for the year. While that's good news the stock looks short-term overbought and we're running out of time. I'm suggesting readers consider an exit immediately. The newsletter plans to exit tomorrow (October 14th) at the closing bell to avoid holding over earnings on October 15th. Given our time frame I'm raising our stop loss to $57.90.

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:      + 4.99
                             /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: 51.31 change: +0.05 stop: 46.80

If you missed the entry point yesterday MBT gave you another shot today. Shares dipped to $49.10 and quickly bounced back above resistance at $50.00. More conservative traders may want to consider inching up their stops a bit. 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.

Picked on   October 12 at $ 50.15
Change since picked:       + 1.16
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.5 million  
Listed on   October 10, 2009         


Precision Cast Parts - PCP - cls: 100.89 change: -1.01 stop: 99.90

Our PCP play is not off to a great start. Shares tagged our breakout trigger yesterday. Now it's dipping toward $100. Fortunately shares found support near $100.50 most of the session and look ready to bounce again. Aggressive traders could buy calls on a bounce from here. I'd prefer to see a move over $104.20 first. Our target is $109.90. PCP has earnings on October 20th and we don't want to hold over the report.

Picked on   October 12 at $104.05
Change since picked:       - 3.16
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.0 million  
Listed on   October 10, 2009         


Waters Corp. - WAT - close: 57.37 change: -0.25 stop: 53.25

WAT still acts like it wants to dip to the $56.50-56.00 zone. More conservative traders may want to raise their stops closer to $55.00. 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:       + 1.94
Earnings Date            10/26/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        809 thousand 
Listed on September 12, 2009         


Whirlpool Corp. - WHR - close: 71.83 change: +0.45 stop: 65.90

WHR displayed a little relative strength with a 0.6% gain. The stock looks like it's coiling for a move over $72 soon. 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:       + 1.33
Earnings Date            10/23/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.5 million  
Listed on   October 10, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

BIOGEN IDEC - BIIB - close: 48.80 change: +0.11 stop: 52.15

The action in BIIB continues to look bearish. The stock appears to be coiling for a breakdown under the $48.25 region soon. 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:       - 0.09
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: 28.71 change: -0.93 stop: n/a

Healthcare stocks started the morning off weak and then plunged again on news that republican senator Olympia Snowe would vote for the Baucus-version of the senate's healthcare reform bill. Shares of CI ended the day down 3.1%. We're still running out of time and CI needs to see a big move in the next couple of days or our strangle will expire worthless.

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:       - 0.69
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.8 million  
Listed on September 08, 2009         


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

General Dynamic - GD - close: 65.59 change: -0.02 stop: 61.75

I'm running out of patience for GD. I'd still keep it on your watch list for a correction. The $60-61 zone should offer some support. I'm a little concerned that GD Might be forming a bear-wedge like pattern. I'm dropping GD as a candidate with the play unopened.

Chart:

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER 
Change since picked:       + 0.00        *never opened*
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.3 million  
Listed on September 09, 2009