A number of stocks achieved either their first upside targets or their final targets.


CALL Play Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 191.29 change: +1.27 stop: 184.75

AAPL got a big shove higher after the INTC earnings report but then gave most of it back right away and traded sideways for the rest of the day. It's starting to look relatively weak. Keep in mind that we plan to exit ahead of the October 19th earnings which are after the market closes. We only have three trading days left.

Our first target to take profits (I'd exit 2/3rds of our position) 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:       + 1.28
Earnings Date            10/19/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       17.8 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Alcon Inc. - ACL - close: 147.63 change: +3.88 stop: 134.75

ACL gapped above its resistance zone of $144-145 and tagged our 2nd target at $148. We will show this as a closed play tomorrow.

Picked on September 10 at $136.75
Change since picked:       + 11.25 (at the $148 target)
                             /1st target hit @ 142.50 (+4.2%)
                             /2nd target hit @ 148.00 (+8.2%)
Earnings Date            10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        299 thousand 
Listed on September 10, 2009         


Amazon.com - AMZN - close: 97.46 change: +2.63 stop: 89.49

AMZN got a good boost with everyone else and is now testing the October and December 2007 highs. The ability to press higher would be very bullish.

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:       + 2.41
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        6.2 million  
Listed on   October 07, 2009         


Allegheny Tech. - ATI - close: 37.59 change: +1.52 stop: 33.75

We're planning to exit before October options expire. That gives us only two more days. More conservative traders may want to exit early now. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Our second target is $38.50 so hopefully another good day or two will get us to our target.

Picked on   August 31 at $ 30.25 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 7.34 
                               /1st target hit @ 33.85 (+11.9%)
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.7 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


Apollo Group - APOL - close: 75.32 change: +1.85 stop: 72.70

APOL broke over resistance at 75.00 and triggered our entry at 75.25 and fortunately it did that after it dropped down this morning. We still plan to exit this trade ahead of the October 27th earnings report.

Picked on   October 14 at $ 75.25 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 0.07 
Earnings Date           10/27/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.6 million  
Listed on October 13, 2009         


AvalonBay - AVB - close: 74.58 change: -1.19 stop: 68.49

Even though AVB rallied today it's looking like it's developing a rolling top. 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 for a test of the September high. 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:       + 1.98
Earnings Date            11/04/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.8 million  
Listed on   October 07, 2009         


Caterpillar - CAT - close: 54.51 change: +1.77 stop: 48.59

CAT is testing its September high. If you are looking for a new entry point, wait for another pullback near $50.00.

Our first target at $54.25 was achieved today. 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:       + 4.51
                               /1st target hit @ 54.25 (+8.5%)
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =         10 million  
Listed on September 19, 2009         


Core Labs - CLB - close: 107.36 change: +2.05 stop: 97.95

CLB dipped down to 105.98 allowing anyone in who was waiting for a dip to 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:       + 2.11
Earnings Date            10/21/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        175 thousand 
Listed on September 23, 2009         


Canadian Nat. Res. - CNQ - close: 75.39 change: +2.93 stop: 64.95

CNQ tagged another new 52-week high today and in so doing it was nice enough to tag our 2nd target. We will show this play closed out tomorrow.

Picked on   October 05 at $ 67.01 /gap higher entry
                                /originally listed at $65.04
Change since picked:       + 8.38
                              /1st target hit @ 71.50 (+6.7%)
                              /2nd target hit @ 74.75 (+11.6%)
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        6.4 million  
Listed on   October 05, 2009         


Consol Energy - CNX - close: 51.05 change: +1.99 stop: 43.90

CNX gapped up with the rest of the market but then went sideways for the rest of the day. It looks like it's consolidating for a continuation higher.

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:       + 7.28
                                /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: 71.65 change: +1.57 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: 69.65 change: +1.52 stop: 64.35

The stock was kind enough to tag our target price of 69.50 before options expiration on Friday. More aggressive traders can aim for the $72.50 level. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $77 target. We had only 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
                                /target hit @ 69.50 (+4.7%)
Change since picked:       + 3.13 (at target price
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.4 million  
Listed on September 05, 2009         


Diamond Offshore - DO - close: 102.55 change: +1.59 stop: 95.95

We've only got two more days left for this play as we plan to exit completely 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:       + 7.86
                               /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: 54.62 change: +1.98 stop: 47.75

The rally continues in this stock but if it dips back to support near $50 we'll use it as a new entry point. The stop loss will remain at $47.75 for now.

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:       + 6.12
                              /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: 91.44 change: +1.95 stop: 82.49

EOG is testing Monday's high but not looking like it wants to do better than that. If it pulls back toward $85.00, which as broken resistance should be new support, it could make for another nice 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:       + 6.20
                              /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: 82.94 change: +1.90 stop: 74.90

ESRX tagged our first target at $82.50. Our second target is $84.95. So far the rally continues to look constructive although like the rest of the market it could be getting a bit stretched to the upside.

Picked on   October 06 at $ 77.42 /gap down entry
                              /originally listed at $78.04
                              /1st target hit @ 82.50 (+6.6%)
Change since picked:       + 5.52
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.1 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Flowserve - FLS - close: 105.95 change: +4.86 stop: 95.90

FLS came bounding out of yesterday's dip and may not given many of you an opportunity to buy yesterday's dip (unless you did it yesterday). Except for a brief end-of-day dip it never looked back in today's rally. Our first target at $109.75 was achieved so take some profits off the table. You may want to close this play or use some of the house's money to capture some more upside potential. The worrisome thing, like the broader market, is the waning momentum that's visible at the new highs since August.

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

Picked on   October 12 at $102.60
Change since picked:       + 3.35
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.2 million  
Listed on September 19, 2009         


Gold ETF - GLD - close: 104.18 change: -.08 stop: 97.40

Further weakness in the dollar today did not help our gold play which dropped a few pennies. Today it looked like it's either consolidating for another push higher or else it's in a topping pattern. 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. 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:       + 1.90
Earnings Date            00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       14.2 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Illumina Inc. - ILMN - close: 43.39 change: +1.37 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: 55.26 change: +1.69 stop: 49.49

Financials got a big boost today thanks in part to JPM's earnings report this morning. Analysts are expecting JPM to deliver a profit of 49 cents a share. The next potential land mine is which reports tomorrow. 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:       + 2.66
Earnings Date            00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =        5.1 million  
Listed on September 01, 2009         


PPG Inds. Inc. - PPG - close: 61.53 change: +0.89 stop: 57.90

PPG closed at new highs again for the year. Like the rest of the market, the stock looks short-term overbought and we're running out of time. It was suggested yesterday that readers consider exiting the play today at the closing bell and that's what we did. This was done to avoid holding over earnings on October 15th. This will show as a closed play tomorrow.

Picked on   August 28 at $ 55.65
Change since picked:      + 5.88
                             /1st target exceeded @ 60.05 (7.9%)
                  /exited at the close on 10/14 at 61.53 (10.6%)
Earnings Date           10/15/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       1.6 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


Mobile Telesys - MBT - close: 53.46 change: +2.15 stop: 46.80

MBT gapped up and ran higher before consolidating sideways for most of the day, which continues to look constructive for more upside. 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:       + 3.31
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.5 million  
Listed on   October 10, 2009         


Precision Cast Parts - PCP - close: 102.99 change: +2.10 stop: 99.90

PCP continues to motor sideways but it's in a potentially bullish consolidation pattern since it tagged our breakout trigger on Monday. 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:       - 1.06
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.0 million  
Listed on   October 10, 2009         


Waters Corp. - WAT - close: 58.18 change: +0.81 stop: 53.25

WAT gapped up and chugged higher all day. It would be nicer to see a little more bullish enthusiasm in the rally. 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:       + 2.75
Earnings Date            10/26/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        809 thousand 
Listed on September 12, 2009         


Whirlpool Corp. - WHR - close: 72.86 change: +1.03 stop: 65.90

WHR couldn't quite decide what to do today. It gapped up and tagged its September high, dropped back down to close the gap and then ran back up this afternoon to try that high again before dropping back down into the close, but still for a gain on the day. 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:       + 2.36
Earnings Date            10/23/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.5 million  
Listed on   October 10, 2009         



PUT Play Updates

BIOGEN IDEC - BIIB - close: 50.04 change: +1.24 stop: 52.15

BIIB got a good sized bounce today and got back above both its 50 and 200-day moving averages. Unfortunately it's stuck in a trading range for the past six weeks and we'll have to see if today's bullishness sees some follow through or not. 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:       - 1.15
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: 29.71 change: +1.00 stop: n/a

CI appears to be in some kind of bear flag formation since its October 2nd low and theoretically should break down from it. But since we don't care which way it goes, only that it does it fast, we'll take a big move either way. We're 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:       + 0.31
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.8 million  
Listed on September 08, 2009