We had several stocks hit our targets in the last day or two. I'm also updating several stop losses.


CALL Play Updates

Amazon.com - AMZN - close: 96.01 change: -1.45 stop: 92.75 *new*

We only have a few days left before AMZN reports earnings but the intraday bounce from the $95 level looks like a new entry point. I am raising our stop loss to $92.75. The positive GOOG earnings tonight could be interpreted as a positive for 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:       + 0.96
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        6.2 million  
Listed on   October 07, 2009         


Apollo Group - APOL - close: 74.60 change: -0.72 stop: 71.90 *new*

APOL spiked higher this morning and hit $76.86. Shares have been showing a lot of volatility the last couple of days. I am going to increase our risk by lowering the stop loss to $71.90. More conservative traders can keep the stop where it's at now at $72.70.

Our first target is $79.90. This should be a short-term play as we plan to exit ahead of the October 27th earnings report. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $95 target.

Picked on   October 14 at $ 75.25
Change since picked:       - 0.65
Earnings Date            10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.6 million  
Listed on   October 13, 2009         


AvalonBay - AVB - close: 74.36 change: -0.22 stop: 68.49

The short-term and longer-term trend of higher lows is still in place. Yet instead of buying calls here I'd prefer to use a dip near $70.00.

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:       + 1.76
Earnings Date            11/04/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.8 million  
Listed on   October 07, 2009         


Caterpillar - CAT - close: 54.77 change: +0.26 stop: 51.45 *new*

CAT hit our first target at $54.25 yesterday. Shares managed to eke out another gain today. If you own October options tomorrow your last day and we'll want to exit if you haven't already. If you own November options we want to exit on Monday at the closing bell to avoid holding over the Tuesday morning earnings report.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time. I'm raising our stop loss to $51.45. Our second target remains at $59.00.

Picked on   October 01 at $ 50.00
Change since picked:       + 4.77
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =         10 million  
Listed on September 19, 2009         


Core Labs - CLB - close: 109.02 change: +1.66 stop: 103.95 *new*

Oil service stocks were showing relative strength today. CLB rallied to new highs and hit $109.50. We're down to our last four days before the company reports earnings. Please note our new stop loss at $103.95.

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:       + 3.77
Earnings Date            10/21/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        175 thousand 
Listed on September 23, 2009         


Consol Energy - CNX - close: 51.02 change: -0.03 stop: 44.99 *new*

Traders bought the dip in CNX at $49.90. That's close enough to $50 for me. I am raising our stop loss to $44.99. More conservative traders may want to place theirs closer to $46.00.

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:       + 7.25
                                /1st target hit @ 48.50 (+10.8%)
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.0 million  
Listed on September 19, 2009         


Dril-Quip, Inc. - DRQ - close: 54.74 change: +0.12 stop: 49.45 *new*

DRQ hits another new high for 2009 at $55.17 today. The stock is growing more overbought and due for a correction. I am raising our stop loss to $49.45. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

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:       + 6.24
                              /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: 93.14 change: +1.70 stop: 84.90 *new*

Oil service stocks were out performing the market today and EOG gained 1.8%. I am raising our stop loss to $84.90. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

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:       + 7.90
                              /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: 81.67 change: -1.27 stop: 77.75 *new*

ESRX suffered a little profit taking after surging to new highs on Wednesday. Broken resistance near $80.00 should offer some new support. I am raising our stop loss to $77.75.

ESRX has already hit our first target at $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:       + 4.25
                             /1st target hit @ 82.50 (+6.6%)
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.1 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Flowserve - FLS - close: 105.74 change: -0.21 stop: 99.45 *new*

FLS managed to maintain its gains near $105. I'm raising our stop loss to $99.45. 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:       + 3.14
Earnings Date            10/28/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.2 million  
Listed on September 19, 2009         


Gold ETF - GLD - close: 102.86 change: -1.32 stop: 97.40

A bounce in the dollar sparked some profit taking in gold futures. The GLD lost 1.2%. 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 first target is $109.90. We are still contemplating a second target.

Picked on   October 06 at $102.28
Change since picked:       + 0.58
Earnings Date            00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =       14.2 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


iShares Financials - IYF - close: 54.87 change: -0.39 stop: 49.49

The rally in financials stalled a bit as investors were disappointed with reports from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. Both companies beat estimates but traders were poised to sell the news.

We need to exit tomorrow to avoid having our October options expire!

Our first target was $57.00.

Picked on September 15 at $ 52.60 *triggered  
Change since picked:       + 2.27
Earnings Date            00/00/00
Average Daily Volume =        5.1 million  
Listed on September 01, 2009         


Mobile Telesys - MBT - close: 52.46 change: -1.00 stop: 47.90 *new*

I would expect MBT to fill the gap from Wednesday morning. That means a dip toward the $51.50-51.25 zone. I am adjusting our stop loss to $47.90.

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:       + 2.31
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.5 million  
Listed on   October 10, 2009         


Precision Cast Parts - PCP - cls: 102.58 change: -0.41 stop: 99.90

We are running out of time for this PCP play. The company reports earnings on Tuesday morning. That means we have two days left for PCP to rally. I'm not suggesting new positions. Our target is $109.90.

Picked on   October 12 at $104.05
Change since picked:       - 1.47
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.0 million  
Listed on   October 10, 2009         


Waters Corp. - WAT - close: 58.27 change: +0.09 stop: 54.90 *new*

WAT managed another new high this time at $58.59. I am raising our stop loss to $54.90. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. The plan was 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:       + 2.84
Earnings Date            10/26/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        809 thousand 
Listed on September 12, 2009         


Whirlpool Corp. - WHR - close: 73.40 change: +0.54 stop: 65.90

WHR is inching closer to our first target at $73.90. I am raising our stop loss to $67.75. The $74.00 level looks like resistance so don't be surprised to see a dip back toward $70. 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:       + 2.90
Earnings Date            10/23/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.5 million  
Listed on   October 10, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

BIOGEN IDEC - BIIB - close: 49.79 change: -0.25 stop: 52.15

Biotech stocks are bouncing and BIIB looks a lot more bullish with its breakout from the weeklong trading range. Shares are still testing resistance near $50.00. I would wait for another failed rally type of move before launching new positions. Earnings are expected on October 20th before the opening bell. 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:       + 0.90
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (confirmed)
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: 28.93 change: -0.78 stop: n/a

Our strangle play on CI is about to expire after tomorrow.

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:       - 0.47
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.8 million  
Listed on September 08, 2009         


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 190.56 change: -0.73 stop: 184.75

What is it going to take to get a move out of AAPL these days? The stock is not cooperating with us. The market is hitting new highs. We're hearing positive earnings reports. Yet the stock won't move from the $190 level. It's either getting pinned there for October options expiration or investors just don't want to take any more bets before AAPL reports earnings on October 19th.

I am suggesting an early exit immediately. I considered some sort of strangle or strangle to hold over AAPL's earnings report but the options look pretty expensive.

Chart:

Picked on   October 06 at $190.01
Change since picked:       + 0.55 <-- early exit!
Earnings Date            10/19/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       17.8 million  
Listed on   October 06, 2009         


Alcon Inc. - ACL - close: 146.87 change: -0.76 stop: 134.75

ACL hit our target at $148.00 on Wednesday. The play is closed. Although I'd keep ACL on your watch list for another bounce near the rising 30 or 40-dma.

Chart:

Picked on September 10 at $136.75
Change since picked:       +11.25 <-- 2nd target hit @ 148.00 (+8.2%)
                             /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: 38.97 change: +1.38 stop: 33.75

Target achieved. ATI was upgraded again this morning and shares rallied more than 3.6%. The intraday high was $39.62. Our second and final target was hit at $38.50.

Chart:

Picked on   August 31 at $ 30.25 *triggered         
Change since picked:      + 8.25 /2nd target hit @ 38.50 (+27.2%)
                               /1st target hit @ 33.85 (+11.9%)
Earnings Date           10/21/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       2.7 million  
Listed on August 27, 2009         


Canadian Nat. Res. - CNQ - close: 76.09 change: +0.70 stop: 64.95

CNQ hit our second and final target at $74.75 during Wednesday's session. The play is closed but I'd keep CNQ on your watch list for a dip near its $70.00 or watch the 50-dma.

Chart:

Picked on   October 05 at $ 67.01 /gap higher entry
                                /originally listed at $65.04
Change since picked:       + 7.74 /2nd target hit @ 74.75 (+11.5%)
                              /1st target hit @ 71.50 (+6.7%)
Earnings Date            11/05/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        6.4 million  
Listed on   October 05, 2009         


Capella Education - CPLA - close: 71.66 change: +0.01 stop: 62.90

I am dropping CPLA as a bullish candidate. Shares have certainly performed well. Unfortunately we never got a decent entry point and shares never hit our trigger to open positions. I would keep this stock on your watch list for a dip near $66-65, which should be new support.

Chart:

Picked on   October xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER $65.75
Change since picked:       + 0.00            *never opened*
Earnings Date            10/27/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        145 thousand 
Listed on   October 03, 2009         


Danaher Corp. - DHR - close: 69.80 change: +0.15 stop: 64.35

DHR hit our target at $69.50 on Wednesday. Shares are nearing resistance at $70.00 and I'd expect another pull back. Before you consider new positions keep in mind that earnings are next week. We only had half a position open to limit our risk given the aggressive entry point.

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:       + 3.13 /target hit @ 69.50 (+4.7%)
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.4 million  
Listed on September 05, 2009         
<-- gap open entry OCT 65 DHR-JM, open: 2.95, closed at 3.90 -->


Diamond Offshore - DO - close: 105.99 change: +3.44 stop: 95.95

Target achieved. DO surged to $106.32 this afternoon. Our second and final target was $104.50. The play is closed but I'd keep DO on your watch list for a dip back toward its trendline of support. The plan was to use small position sizes.

Chart:

Picked on September 15 at $ 94.69 *adjusted entry point
Change since picked:       + 9.81 /2nd target hit @ 104.50 (+10.3%)
                               /1st target hit @ 99.90 (+5.5%)
Earnings Date            10/22/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.8 million  
Listed on September 12, 2009         


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

We're running out of time for our ILMN play to work. I'm giving up on a buy the dip entry and removing the stock from the newsletter. More aggressive traders might want to consider buying a breakout over $44.00 but I would still avoid holding over the earnings report.

Chart:

Picked on September xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 40.10
Change since picked:       + 0.00              *never opened*
Earnings Date            10/20/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.6 million  
Listed on September 26, 2009         


PPG Inds. Inc. - PPG - close: 62.08 change: +0.55 stop: 57.90

The plan was to exit PPG yesterday at the closing bell to avoid holding over earnings.

Chart:

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